Gautier High students head back to class after TB scare

Gautier High students head back to class after TB scare

More than 90 percent of the students at Gautier High were back in class Wednesday after concern spread regarding a classmate contracting Tuberculosis.

Mississippi State Department of Health officials say there is no ongoing risk of TB exposure at the school, but some parents said it was still a tough decision to send their kids to school.

"It is not good and makes you think," one parent said.

"We don't know who had it, but I just told them don't be in everybody's face and don't be in anybody's face and try to keep their distance," another parent said.

The infected teen's identity has not been released, but Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich did confirm he was not at school Wednesday.

"I can't talk about that because I don't really know how that process works, that is under the leadership of the Mississippi State Department of Health. But I can assure you their rules will not allow that student to come back to school until that student is free of any possibility of contaminating other students," said Rodolfich.

Health officials have also been stressing there is no outbreak or ongoing risk of exposure at the high school. Hundreds of parents listened. Wednesday's student attendance was 775 out 850.

"Go to school, Go to school. There is nothing you can do about it," a student said.

Free TB testing will be offered starting next week for 194 students and staff members who may have been exposed to the infected student before the holiday break. School leaders said this is another way to be safe.

"The children are safe to return to school. The big thing is, number one identify, then test, treat and then move on and that is for the health professionals to do. All we are doing is facilitating to make sure every child that had any risk of exposure is getting the proper testing for this condition," Rodolfich said.

Rodolfich said the high school has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, although that was not something that had to be done in this situation.

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