A student attending Grace Davis High School in Modesto has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB), announced the Stanislaus County Public Health Department.
The student is currently under medical care, and there is no longer a risk of exposure to students and staff at the school.
“Public Health is working closely with school officials to proactively investigate and test students who may have been exposed,” said Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer for Stanislaus County.
Information letters have been sent to the parents of all students. Currently, Public Health will only be testing students and school staff who shared a classroom with the diagnosed student. Public Health has scheduled a time to provide screening tests at school to identify students and staff to detect inactive (latent) TB infection.
TB is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is transmitted through the air. Droplets containing the bacteria can become airborne when a person with TB disease coughs, talks, or sings. These droplets are inhaled by other people, and infection usually requires significant (many hours of non-casual/intentional) contact before a person is infected. Some of the people who inhale these droplets will become infected, and some of those infected will develop active TB disease if they don’t receive treatment to prevent it.
Typically, transmission of TB bacteria is limited to family members, close friends, and people with sustained close contact. Most people who have been infected with TB do not progress to having active TB disease and are, therefore, unable to transmit the germ to others. They can protect themselves and the people around them if they complete treatment for TB infection because it effectively prevents them from developing infectious active TB disease.
For information on tuberculosis, contact the Public Health Tuberculosis Program at 558- 7535, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.