Health officials announce TB test results for Miller Co. High

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Update: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 11, 2017

COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Department of Public Health has released the latest results on tuberculosis testing currently underway at Miller County High School.

Officials say, out of the 360 skin tests that were administered on Monday at the school, 335 results were reviewed on Wednesday. Of those, 12 appeared to be abnormal and were referred for further evaluation.

Those individuals will be recommended for x-rays or treatment following additional evaluation.

"This does not mean that the individuals have active tuberculosis," says Carolyn Maschke, spokesperson for the Southwest Health District. "There is a distinction between TB infection and TB disease. With TB infection, there are no symptoms and you are not contagious. With TB disease, the individual experiences symptoms and is contagious."

Maschke adds, "Tuberculosis disease is a condition that can be spread from person to person through the air. It usually attacks the lungs, but it also can attack other parts of the body. It is not easy to get TB. Repeated exposure over a long period to a person who is contagious is usually required to contract the disease."

Stay with WCTV for the latest updates on this story.


Update: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 10, 2017

COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- Georgia health officials say that the final results of Monday's tuberculosis testing at Miller County High School are still being tabulated.

Results are now expected tomorrow morning.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 8, 2017

COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Department of Public Health is continuing to conduct tuberculosis testing at Miller County High School.

Carolyn Maschke, the spokesperson for the Southwest Health District, says the second round of TB testing is being done today, and the results of those skin tests will be read on Wednesday. Those with test results that appear normal on Wednesday will not need to have additional follow-up testing. Those who have test results that appear abnormal will be referred for follow-up.

Maschke says TB does not always show up in the system immediately, which is the reason this round of testing is being administered now.

Less than 20 individuals have been referred for additional evaluation out of those tested to date.

90 to 95 percent of people who become infected with tuberculosis will never have major illness and will never be contagious.

Officials add that the original patient with active tuberculosis is undergoing treatment and that TB can be treated by taking several medications for 6 to 9 months.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
April 10, 2017

COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Department of Public Health is continuing testing after an active case of tuberculosis was confirmed at Miller County High School.

Health officials say, as of Friday, about 250 students were tested and five percent tested positive. For those individuals, additional testing is required to determine if they have the infection.

Officials with DPH say the follow-up round of skin testing is tentatively set for May 8, with results expected May 10. Individuals with positive results will receive recommendations to get additional tests, such as chest x-rays, just as those who got positive results during this round of testing did.

Officials say positive results to skin tests do not indicate active tuberculosis, only potential exposure to tuberculosis germs.


By: Lanetra Bennett
April 7, 2017

COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Miller County Schools Superintendent says health officials notified him last week about a student at Miller County High School with Tuberculosis.

Miller County High School senior Larry Edwards had to leave school early Friday. He said, "When I got tested, I can't believe I came back positive."

Edwards added, "Hopefully I'll be alright because it affected me, too. I didn't think I was going to leave school for something like this. I hope I'm alright. I mean, I feel okay."

Superintendent Jimmy Phillips says they followed protocol by doing a skin test on other students.

Edwards says his test left a bump on his arm. "They said if it went away, you don't have it. But, if it remained on your skin, you got it. Mine didn't go away after I got injected."

A spokesperson for the Miller County Health Department says they tested about 250 students. Out of those, less than five percent tested positive. She says that does not mean those are active TB cases... the students have to get additional testing to determine if they have the infection. The additional testing includes chest X-rays.

The spokesperson says the test results at the school are not that uncommon. She says they are compatible with what you'd see if the regular population were tested.

Superintendent Phillips said, "This is not a near and ever present immediate problem for somebody. It is treatable. So, if they'll take the time to read and maintain their composure, confide in their kids and tell them exactly what's going on, I think we'll get through just fine."

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that can be spread through the air and usually attacks the lungs. Repeated exposure over a long period to a contagious person is usually required to contract tuberculosis.

The health department spokesperson says it is very difficult to catch from another person.

The health department says parents should take the situation seriously, but don't be alarmed.

Officials say even if a child was not identified as high risk of exposure, and the parent wants the child tested, they can do so by making an appointment at the county health department.

Superintendent Phillips advises all parents to stay informed by checking the school website regularly.


COLQUITT, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Department of Public Health is working to manage a case of tuberculosis at Miller County High School.

School officials say there is currently one active case. The health department is doing contact testing at the school. As of Friday morning, at least 250 people have been tested. Of those, less than five percent tested positive, meaning they need to go back for additional testing. Officials say this does not been that those individuals are active for tuberculosis.

Officials are unsure of how the infected person contracted the disease.

According to DPH, students and staff who appear to be at high risk of exposure will receive a recommendation for skin testing.

"If the skin test outcome is abnormal, we will notify you and arrange for additional evaluation, including a chest x-ray," Miller County Health Department nurse manager Darleen Cox said.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that can be spread through the air and usually attacks the lungs. Repeated exposure over a long period to a contagious person is usually required to contract tuberculosis.

According to DPH, between 90% and 95% of people who become infected will never have major illness or be contagious.



 
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