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Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2012

San Diego County health officials report TB cases at Vista High School and San Ysidro Middle School

 

TB x-ray

This is an anteroposterior (AP) x-ray of a patient’s chest, who was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary tuberculosis. Image/CDC

Students and staff at two San Diego county schools are being notified of a potential exposure to tuberculosis after students from the schools tested positive for the bacterial disease, tuberculosis, according to a San Diego County news release Dec. 5.

The infected students are from Vista High School and San Ysidro Middle School according to health officials.

The County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is working with the schools to ensure notification of those  who were potentially exposed.

The period of exposure for the Vista High case was from August 20 through October 30, 2012.   The period of exposure for San Ysidro Middle School was from July 31 through November 28, 2012.

“Tuberculosis is reported more often in the San Diego region compared to the rest of the country, but the number of cases has decreased here over the last decade,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., county deputy public health officer. “TB can be treated and cured with medication. That’s why it’s important to identify those who have been infected.”

Free testing for students and staff who may have been exposed will take place on December 10 at San Ysidro Middle School, 4345 Otay Mesa Road, San Ysidro. 

Free testing for students and staff who may have been exposed will take place on December 18 at Vista High School, 1 Panther Way, Vista.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected

People who breathe air containing the TB bacteria may become infected. People infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of about 10%. Symptoms of active TB include cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss. Active TB disease is usually curable with a standard course of antibiotic drugs.

County health officials say tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region. There have been 211 cases of TB reported in San Diego in 2012. Last year, there were 263 cases of TB reported locally.

For more information about the exposure, call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621. 

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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