MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Massachusetts high school dealing with TB scare

Approximately 200 students and staff will be tested for tuberculosis at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, after school officials determined a student there may have contracted the bacterial disease.

Carol Woodbury, the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District's superintendent, said that letters alerting students of the potential TB case went out to parents of children in all district schools last week, the Cape Cod Times reports.

"We're working with both the Yarmouth Department of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health," Woodbury said, according to the Cape Cod Times.

Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Health said that there is no risk to students at any other school. The department is only testing teachers and students who may have shared a class with the female student who might be infected with TB.

"With something like this, you have to make sure to take precautionary measures," Woodbury said, according to the Cape Cod Times.

In 2011, the state of Massachusetts experienced 196 cases of TB, the lowest case rate ever recorded in the state, the Cape Cod Times reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that usually attack the lungs. The bacteria can also attack the brain, kidney and spine. The disease can be fatal if untreated. Tuberculosis spreads through the air and from person to person from personal contact, sharing drinks and coughing.