Baytown area high school staff member diagnosed with tuberculosis

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Staff member at Sterling HS diagnosed with TB (Shutterstock)

A staff member at Sterling High School in Baytown has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to Harris County health officials.

A letter was sent home to alert parents. Health officials are working to identify individuals who may have been exposed to the infected staff member.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by bacteria that usually affects the lungs. To contract TB, a person generally would have to spend a fairly long time in a closed environment with a person with TB who is coughing or sneezing.

TB can be effectively treated with medications. The most effective way to prevent TB is to avoid exposure to individuals who are sick with the disease, and to practice good hygiene such as frequent hand-washing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

Some common symptoms include a bad cough lasting more than two weeks, weight loss, poor appetite, night sweats, fever and possibly coughing up blood. Anyone experiencing those symptoms is encouraged to contact a health care provider.

An information session will be held at the school on Tuesday from 5:30-6:30pm to answer questions.

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