“Tuberculosis, we thought it was gone, it’s not, its still around,” says Timothy Moody, MD, Student Health Services.
That’s the message being sent to Cal Poly Pomona students as officials reveal a male student has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and possibly exposed hundreds to the disease.
School officials promptly sent this letter to those who may have been affected.
“When we went through course records we have 375 and a number of faculty and staff,” says Doug Freer, Vice President Student Affairs.
“I was a little worried. TB is serious,” student Tanner Clark says.
The symptoms include chest pain and persistent coughing.
Cal Poly officials say since fall, the infected student has taken physics, engineering, computer science and women’s studies.
But that’s about all the information being released.
“We have no idea when he might have contracted it. He was taking classes up to two weeks ago,” Freer says.
“In engineering we all have to take physics so it can be anyone,” Tanner Clark, engineering major.
Health experts say the airborne disease can spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or laughs.
Even if a student has been exposed, doctors say it’s likely he or she will never show any symptoms.
“Maybe a third of worlds population is infected with TB. Majority of infected people don’t get ill,” Dr. Moody says.
Still, the university is taking every precaution and encourages students to get a TB skin test at the health center, free of charge.