The Georgia Department of Health has announced that they have found no new cases of clinical tuberculosis among students at Butler High School.
They issued a news release involved updated testing of students:
Last October 2012, a Butler High School student was diagnosed with active tuberculosis. The Richmond County Health Department TB Control Program initiated testing of individuals identified as close contacts to the case, including students and teachers. Testing was expanded to include the entire school and staff.
Tests were conducted in October and November. Five hundred and seventy eight individuals were tested and 136 had positive skin tests however, of those only four were deemed to have clinical tuberculosis. Three of the four clinical tuberculosis cases were confirmed with positive cultures. Individuals with positive skin tests and those who were deemed with clinical tuberculosis were evaluated and handled according to the guidelines issued by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State. None of the clinical tuberculosis cases were allowed to return to work, school, or public places until considered non infectious.
It is the protocol to retest individuals who initially test negative as it could take up to three months for individuals to react to the skin test. RCHD TB Program returned to Butler High School on January and February to retest students and staff who had tested negative. Two hundred and forty two individuals including students and staff were tested. As of February 20th, nineteen had positive tests. No new clinical TB cases have been identified.
Positive skin tests in absence of symptoms and clinical evidence only suggest exposure to Tuberculosis sometime during someone's lifetime. These individuals do not have TB Disease and are not considered infectious.
We realize you may have questions and or concerns. We want to make accessible information and resources. Please visit our website at www.ecphd.com for literature
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