Contra Costa County health officials confirmed Tuesday they were investigating a case of tuberculosis involving an Antioch high school student.
Contra Costa Public Health Communicable Disease Chief Erika Jenssen said the unnamed student had been confirmed to have tuberculosis on March 25th but was no longer infectious.
Jenssen said his staff was working with school officials at Deer Valley High School to inform parents. Letters have been sent to parents and guardians of students who may have been exposed.
“We know parents may be concerned and we are working closely with the school officials to ensure all appropriate measures are taken to protect students,” Jenssen said in a press release. “Tuberculosis generally does not spread easily, and infection usually requires at least six to eight hours of close contact…As a protective measure, we will test those who shared classrooms or were in a club with the student.”
Tuberculosis is caused by a germ that usually infects the lungs and can be spread from person to person through coughing. It is treatable with an extended course of medications. Symptoms of active tuberculosis include a prolonged cough, fever, night sweats and unexpected weight loss of at least 10 pounds. There were 55 reported cases of tuberculosis in Contra Costa County in 2012.
According to Jenssen, tuberculosis infection can be identified in its early stages with a simple blood or skin test. If a test is positive, a chest X-ray is usually necessary to determine if the infection is active tuberculosis.
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