Potential case of TB found at George Washington University

Health officials in the Washington, D.C., are looking into a potential case of tuberculosis at George Washington University.

The officials are attempting to reach all close contacts of the suspected case so they can be screened for the disease themselves, according to the Washington Post.

Washington, D.C., sees around 50 cases of tuberculosis every year and believes that there is no need for the larger George Washington community to take any specific medical actions or precautions at this time, the Washington Post reports.

The health department and university officials are working to identify and reach “all close contacts of the suspected case so that they can be screened for TB,” a health department spokeswoman said, according to the Washington Times.

Close contacts of the unidentified individual, the Washington Post reports, “are being provided specific instructions on how to receive a TB risk and symptom assessment and a TB skin test."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tuberculosis is a disease caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which typically attacks the lungs and can be fatal if not treated. TB spreads through the air from one person to the other when a person with the active disease sneezes, sighs, speaks or sings. TB is not spread by sharing food or drink, shaking someone’s hand, touching bed linens or toilet seats, or kissing.