Thirty-two test positve for TB at Alabama high school

Results from recent tests have confirmed that 26 students and six staff members at Jefferson Davis High School in Birmingham, Alabama, have contracted tuberculosis.

More than 1,800 students and 174 staffers were tested at the high school after a student was discovered with TB, according to WAKA.com.

Public health officials said that the tests showed the existence of latent TB, not active, and that the results of chest x-rays are not finished.

Pam Barret of the Alabama Department of Public Health said that there is no reason to believe there are any more active cases of the disease at the school, WAKA.com reports.

Those who tested positive for TB infection have a five to 10 percent chance of developing active TB in their lifetime if they do not take preventable medicine. With preventable medicine, that chance drops to less than one percent.

The results of the tests appear to be lower than health officials originally anticipated, according to WAKA.com. Earlier, they estimated that as many as 100 cases could be present.

Barret told WAKA.com that those who tested negative would be given an additional test before the end of the year to account for TB’s incubation period.

TB is caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually attacks lung tissue, but can also attack other parts of the body such as the brain or kidneys. If not treated properly, it can be fatal.