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Health Dept.: Active TB case confirmed at Virginia high school

A view of Atlee High School, where health officials say students and staff may have been exposed to TB (Google Maps)

HANOVER Co., Va. (WSET) - The Health Department says students at one high school in Virginia may have been exposed to tuberculosis.

Hanover County Schools wrote on their Facebook page that there was one confirmed active case of TB affiliated with Atlee High School.

The health department says they're evaluating students, faculty, and staff who may have been exposed.

"After we complete out assessment, we will offer free evaluation and testing to those we believe may have been exposed. We will notify those affected in a separate letter, which will include testing times and dates," the Facebook post says.

The health department says there will be an informational meeting about TB and the risk of transmission on Monday, February 5 in the high school's auditorium.

They say believe the risk of transmission is "low in this instance."

The health department released the following facts about TB:

  • TB is an airborne communicable disease caused by bacteria that are released into the air when a person with active TB disease coughs, speaks, laughs, sneezes, or sings.
  • TB is difficult to transmit to another person. It does not thrive outside of the body once it makes contact with a surface. For instance, TB cannot be contracted from someone’s clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces.
  • Persons can become infected with TB if they spend a lot of time with a person who has active TB disease.
  • TB infection alone does not make people sick or contagious, and persons with TB infection do not necessarily have TB disease. Having TB infection means that TB disease could develop in the future.
  • Some typical symptoms of active TB disease are: persistent cough (>3 weeks), fever, night sweats, weight loss, decreased appetite, and fatigue.
  • Both TB disease and TB infection can be treated with medication.

For more information on TB from the CDC, click here.

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