27 Kansas Students Test Positive For TB
The Associated Press reports that 27 students at an eastern Kansas high school have tested positive for tuberculosis after coming in contact with an infected student. AP does not mention how the first student contracted the disease.
More than 300 Olathe Northwest High School students and staff members were tested after coming into contact with an infected student. In addition to that student, the testing revealed 27 new cases of TB that hadn’t progressed to the contagious stage, the Johnson County Health Department said in a news release.
Officials began calling the people who tested positive on Monday, while those with no sign of infection will receive letters, the department said.
In what was apparently supposed to make everyone feel better, the health department director Lougene Marsh said that the number infected “does not exceed what we would anticipate in this setting,” adding, “Of course, we had hoped we wouldn’t find any additional TB cases, but we knew this was a possibility.”
AP reports that those who have been exposed during the spring term will be tested May 5, as it can take as long as eight weeks to detect TB.
Tuberculosis is a infectious bacterial disease that attacks the lungs and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Those who are infected usually develop a bad cough, at times resulting in coughing up blood, chest pains, and fatigue. It is potentially fatal.
Cases of TB have been cropping up over the last few years, including a string of cases in the border town of El Paso, TX. The media was conspicuously silent on the reason for the outbreak then as well.