28 people test positive for tuberculosis at Kansas school

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — More than two dozen cases of tuberculosis have been detected at an eastern Kansas high school after widespread screening, state and county health officials announced Wednesday.

More than 300 Olathe Northwest High School students and staff members were tested after coming into contact with an infected student. In addition to that student, the testing revealed 27 new cases of TB that hadn’t progressed to the contagious stage, the Johnson County Health Department said in a news release.

Officials began calling the people who tested positive on Monday, while those with no sign of infection will receive letters, the department said.

“The number of individuals with TB infection does not exceed what we would anticipate in this setting,” health department director Lougene Marsh said in the statement. “Of course, we had hoped we wouldn’t find any additional TB cases, but we knew this was a possibility. That’s why we took such thorough steps to test everyone who might have been in close contact with the first confirmed case of TB disease.”

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that attacks the lungs and can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics. It is generally spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include a bad cough for three weeks or longer, chest pain, weakness or fatigue, and coughing up blood.

Those exposed to TB during the spring semester will be tested May 5, the department said. It can take up to eight weeks for TB to show up positive in a TB test, the health officials said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s