JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - An case of active tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed in a student at Provine High School. The Mississippi Department of Health has been working with school officials to identify students and staff who may have been potentially exposed to the active TB case.
In the coming weeks, MSDH will test approximately 200 students and faculty for TB infection. They will be notified by a letter with details about the upcoming testing. Testing for TB is only recommended for those individuals notified by the MSDH.
The risk of infection from this diagnosed case is minimal. The most common way to become infected with TB is to have direct, extended contact with someone who has active TB disease. TB is a respiratory infection that spreads when a person inhales airborne germs over an extended period of time in a confined area with someone who has the active disease. Symptoms of active TB disease include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, night sweats and weight loss.
Exposure to active TB disease can result in TB infection. TB infection is not contagious and has no symptoms, but can develop into active TB disease over time. A course of treatment is recommended for those with TB infection in order to prevent future TB disease.
“Provine High School officials have taken all the necessary safety precautions and have cooperated completely with us to ensure the further safety of all students, faculty and staff,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.
“It’s important to remember that cases of TB are seen every year in the state, and sometimes these kinds of investigations in school settings are necessary. Identifying diseases and limiting the spread to others is an activity we do routinely, and there is absolutely no cause for concern,” said Dr. Byers.
MSDH will hold a meeting with parents at the Provine High School Auditorium on Thursday, February 14, from 6-7 p.m. to address questions and provide information.
The following letter was sent to parents, faculty and staff of Provine High School.
The Mississippi Department of Health will hold a press conference today to discuss tuberculosis testing at Provine High School. It will be streamed on the WLBT Facebook page at 2:00 p.m. Monday.