Health officials test students at George Bush High School for tuberculosis

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- The Fort Bend County Health Department conducted testing for tuberculosis at George Bush High School Monday after an active case was discovered at the school on May 30.

Joey Duran, a sophomore at the school, received a letter last week saying she may have been exposed to tuberculosis and needed to be tested.

"We had to wait in front of the clinic, and they had us put on like this mask so just in case anything was around there," Duran said.

According to Kaye Reynolds, Deputy Director of Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, about 640 students received letters saying they needed to be tested.

"We looked at people who spent classroom time together, so they're in there for a period of time repeatedly throughout the week and throughout the semester," Reynolds said. "Because we want to make sure we catch anyone who potentially was infected."

Reynolds said tuberculosis is not easy to catch.

"You actually have to cough up droplets of the bacteria and then it has to get down into somebody else's lungs," Reynolds said. "So it's not like a cold or flu where you can catch it easily."

She said that may be why Duran received a letter saying she needed to be tested, wheras her brother Jessie, did not need to be tested.

"For us right now we've got a lot of people who are out of the country or on vacation for a while, so we're just going to have to do as many as we can today and then follow up with the rest," Reynolds said.

About 200 of 640 students attended testing Monday.

Reynolds said another round of testing will take place in August before the new school year starts.

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