Possible TB case surfaces at third Richmond Co. high school

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Richmond County health officials are testing students, faculty and staff at AR Johnson High School for exposure to tuberculosis after a student at the school presented symptoms of the disease.

The student suspected of having the active disease was removed from school, health officials said. They are awaiting the results of a test that shows whether the student has active tuberculosis.

AR Johnson is the third Richmond County high school where a suspected case of tuberculosis has surfaced in the past year.

Just last month, a student at Glenn Hills High was suspected of having tuberculosis. Last October, hundreds of students at Butler High were tested for exposure to tuberculosis after a student there started showing symptoms of the disease.

Health officials will offer free tuberculosis skins tests Friday at AR Johnson for staff and students who may have been exposed.

But health officials say that even if a tuberculosis skin test comes back positive, it doesn't mean the person will develop the active disease. It just means the person has come in contact with the disease.

People whose TB skin tests come back positive are not contagious, health officials said, but will be placed on medicine to prevent the possibility of developing the disease later in life.

Symptoms of active tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss.

For questions regarding testing, call the Richmond County Health Department TB Control Clinic at 706-721-5840.

Additional information on TB can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.

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