Results from last week’s tuberculosis (TB) testing at Rosedale Middle School, in Kansas City, Kansas, are being released this week by the Unified Government Health Department. Letters are being mailed on Friday to families and individuals who were tested.
In December, state and local health department officials identified a single case of active TB in a student who attends the school. At that time, officials began identifying contacts of the student and began preparing for screening of those identified at risk for transmission.
“I am pleased with the cooperation among the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Rosedale Middle School staff, students and parents, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Unified Government Health Department who worked rapidly to identify a public health risk and address the situation, moving quickly to protect the public’s health,” said Joe Connor, director of the UG Health Department.
Testing took place at the school on January 14, in order to establish a baseline of TB infection among the student’s contacts, which is a standard practice when conducting a TB investigation. It can take up to eight weeks for latent TB infection to be identified if an individual has been infected as a result of their exposure to someone with active TB. Health officials were pleased to find a smaller number of TB infections identified in these preliminary tests.
“Baseline testing is performed to identify anyone who was infected with latent TB prior to this current known exposure,” according to Phil Griffin, TB Controller with KDHE. “While we cannot release specific numbers due to health privacy regulations, we want to emphasize that our results were less than the average number of infections typically found in the Kansas City metropolitan area.”
Students who may have been identified with positive results will be further evaluated and treated, as necessary.
In March, a follow-up round of testing will be conducted at Rosedale among this same group of contacts. Because it takes up to eight weeks for latent TB infection to be detected in the body, this final round of testing will identify anyone needing further evaluation and treatment.
Individuals who need more information about TB or other public health issues should contact the UG Health Department, (913) 573-6712.
Information courtesy of KCKPS
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