Students exposed to TB at Texas school

Approximately 80 students, teachers and staff members at Ennis High School in Ennis, Texas, were recently found to have been exposed to tuberculosis.

Doctors ordered skin tests on the portion of the school’s population because a teacher was found to have contracted the illness just prior to the first day of school. That teacher is now on medical leave, according to

Dr. Brian Smith of the Texas Department of State Health Services explained that those with positive skin tests do not normally become sick and are not infectious.

“What a positive skin test means is that a person has been exposed to the disease and they have picked up a tiny bit of the bacteria that has caused their body to react to the skin test, so in those persons you can kill the bacteria by giving a single medication for nine months," Smith said, NBCDFW reports.

Those who tested positive have been advised to get chest X-rays completed at the nearby Baylor Medical Center in Waxahachie, Texas.

"I was shocked," Shabrekia Richardson, a high school junior, said, according to "I actually started crying. I just thought, 'I'm in a school.' I never thought in a school I could get something like this."

Richardson was one of 235 people at the high school who was given the skin test. Her results came back positive. Ennis High School has a total enrollment of 1,580.

"There's a lot of unanswered questions like what to do next, what's going to happen, am I going to be able to go to school?" Richardson said, reports.

Smith said only those who showed symptoms of actual TB needed to stay out of school. All others can return.

"I wouldn't keep anybody out of school for having a positive skin test unless they also have a severe cough or severe weight loss or other symptoms of tuberculosis," Smith said, according to "Normally those people are going to stay in school, even with a positive skin test."