SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

TB scare at New York high school

One person has tested positive for tuberculosis at BUILD Academy Buffalo School #91 in Buffalo, New York, and the district and the Erie County Health Department are taking action to prevent the disease from spreading.
The school and health department sent home letters with the children informing their parents about the disease and have tested about 50 children, WKBW reports.
Health officials said that testing positive does not mean that the disease is active or contagious and they warn that a negative test does not necessarily mean a person is in the clear. It may take up to 10 weeks for someone exposed to TB to develop a positive test. Health officials are offering people chest x-rays, complete physicals and antibiotics.
Officials do not want parents to panic because the disease is not as easily transmitted as people believe.
"It takes actually a prolonged period of time to transmit so what we try to find is who's been with the person in a confined space for more than eight hours," Anthony Billittier, the commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, said, WKBW reports.
The school is being disinfected to prevent more children from being exposed to the airborne illness. Health professionals are also on site at the school in case parents, teachers and students have questions. Health officials said that there is a TB vaccine but it isn't required in the U.S. because there are not many cases. There were only 15 cases of TB in Erie County, N.Y., last year.