More than 75 tested for tuberculosis at Texas school

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by MARCUS MOORE

WFAA

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

IRVING –– Dallas County health officials began offering free tuberculosis testing at Nimitz High School on Wednesday for anyone who came in contact with a student who was treated for it.

Last week the health department notified school officials of the student's treatment. The school district then sent letters and called parents about the alert.

On Wednesday the health department began skin testing for students who had parental consent.  A spokesperson said the level of concern at the school was relatively low. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, between 75 and 100 students had their skin tested. The school has an enrollment of about 2,400.

"Our hope is that no one tests positive, but we are doing these tests as a precaution," said district spokesperson Lesley Weaver.  

Parents told News 8 they had little concern about the situation and were thankful the district and health officials are taking steps to handle the issue.

"I'm really not worried, because my daughter hasn't shown any symptoms," said parent Olga Retana.

In a letter to parents, district officials said: 

"The DCHHS has recommended education and free testing for students and staff who may have been in contact with the student during the spring semester of the 2012-2013 school year."

Citing privacy reasons, the school did not identify the student, but alerted students who may have been in close contact or in the same classroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis is a highly contagious disease that is typically spread through bacteria in the lungs. 

Symptoms can include a strong cough, chest pain, weakness or fatigue, a loss of appetite, chills, fever and night sweats.

Initial test results from Nimitiz High School should be released on Friday.

Email mmoore@wfaa.com

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