A Grant Union High School student who was diagnosed with active tuberculosis in February has been medically cleared to return to school. However, Sacramento County Division of Public Health (SCDPH), in cooperation with Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD), will continue to screen students and staff for TB exposure.
Nearly 200 students have been screened since March, shortly after the student was diagnosed with active TB. Forty-seven students and staff who shared classes with the teenager tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis and are receiving preventive treatment.
Because the number of exposures was higher than anticipated, the California Department of Public Health—in cooperation with TRUSD and SCDPH—conducted airflow evaluations in some of the classrooms the students shared (tuberculosis is a bacterial disease spread through the air when there is generally repeated, prolonged, close exposure to an infectious individual).
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye has determined it’s necessary to expand the TB investigation. TB screenings will be offered in May to an additional 500 Grant students and staff. Parents and guardians of the students have been notified.
“While there are no other confirmed active TB cases at Grant Union High School, we are proactively investigating and screening any potential exposures,” says Dr. Kasirye. “It is standard practice to systematically investigate in this manner, expanding testing based on results, and assuring that nobody is at risk in the meantime.”
Dr. Kasirye says it’s important for the public to understand that the latent form of TB (in other words, exposure to) is not infectious. Only those with active TB may be infectious and can exhibit symptoms such as cough and fever.
For questions concerning Tuberculosis, please call 916-875-5881.