Suspected case of tuberculosis reported at 2 area schools

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Local school districts dealing with possible tuberculosis cases, Elissa Rivas reports. (KTRK)

Fort Bend authorities are say a high school student may have contracted tuberculosis.

In a letter, Clements High School principal David Yaffie told parents that Fort Bend Clinical Health Services had notified the school about a suspected tuberculosis case in a student.

"I can assure you the school is working actively with Fort Bend County Health & Human Services and taking all necessary steps in order to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff," Yaffie wrote.

Although the county health department had identified a small group of students and staff for further testing, Yaffie said that students who have not been notified should not be concerned.

"I'm very concerned," said parent Edward Diaz. "It makes you wonder what's going on especially, when you have kids."

The district is encouraging those who have questions to contact Fort Bend County Clinical Health Services at 281-342- 6414.

Dr. Jeffrey Starke is a professor of pediatrics for Baylor College of Medicine and an expert in pediatric tuberculosis.

"There is still a lot of fear associated with TB because of its history," said Starke.

He says the presence of suspected cases of TB at two local high schools is coincidental. However, the presence of TB around children is always troubling, not simply because of their young age.

"Adolescents are particularly prone to developing TB, as are young adults," he added.

El Campo Independent School District is also testing for tuberculosis after a high school student possibly contracted the bacteria.

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Two are schools are testing students for tuberculosis, authorities say.

What is tuberculosis?
TB is a bacteria that lives in the lungs. It begins as an infection, but if it's not treated, it can develop into a disease. This is a disease that can spread from close contact.
What are the symptoms of TB?
You might have tuberculosis if you are experience any of the following, but it's important to get checked by your doctor:
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain

Doctors say tuberculosis is spread through the air, by breathing, speaking, even singing.

It settles in a person's lungs and then grows.
But, you cannot get TB by shaking hands with someone, sharing a drink or food, sharing a toothbrush, or kissing someone.
Related Topics:
tuberculosisillnessstudentshealthFort Bend County
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