High School Student in Indio Diagnosed With Tuberculosis: Officials

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A scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause tuberculosis, is pictured. (Credit: NIAID / Flickr via Creative Commons)

A scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause tuberculosis, is pictured. (Credit: NIAID / Flickr via Creative Commons)

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A high school student in Indio has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis, and school officials are working to determine if any other students or staff may have been exposed to the illness, county health officials said Monday.

The Shadow Hills High School student is currently being treated and is expected to recover, but will not be allowed to return to school without a medical clearance, according to a news release from the Riverside University Health System, Public Health.

More than 400 letters are being sent home to parents of students who may have been exposed to the illness, and staff members were also being notified.

“While the risk of infection is low, it’s important that parents who receive the notification letter get their child tested,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a public health officer for Riverside County, said. “The testing is quick and can provide peace of mind for both parents and children.”

Students and staff who do not receive a notification letter are considered not to be at risk for TB exposure and should not be tested for the illness.

Health officials recommend that anyone who receives the notice be screened with a TB skin test at a clinic being planned in August at Shadow Hills High School, or by their own health care provider. Parents can also have their child tested at a Riverside University Health System community health center in Indio or Palm Springs at no cost.

Tuberculosis is described an airborne disease that can be contracted when someone breathes in air exhaled by someone with an active case of TB, the release stated. The illness is not spread by sharing food or drink, shaking hands, or through bed linens and toilet seats.

 

 

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