Final TB Screening at Grant Union High School on June 13th

 

Department of Health and Human Services
Sherri Z. Heller
Director

6/11/2014 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

Laura McCasland    mccaslandla@saccounty.net    (916) 875-2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will provide a final Tuberculosis (TB) screening opportunity on June 13th (between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.) at Grant Union High School.  This screening is for any student or staff member who has not been tested.  Results will be read on June 16th, at the school.

DHHS, in cooperation with Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD), screened over 400 students and staff for Tuberculosis (TB) exposure following the diagnosis of one student with active TB, earlier this year.  Of those screened, 120 students and staff tested positive for exposure to TB and are receiving preventive treatment.  There are two suspect cases of lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes), which is symptomatic of TB. They are not infectious.  

The original testing identified students who were at high risk of exposure who were in the same classrooms and adjacent classrooms with shared air.  Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye, indicates that there is a high risk among that population who received the original notice, and urges all to appear for testing, including those who have graduated.  Dr. Kasirye has been meeting regularly with parents to answer their questions and address their concerns, and, in response to parental requests that all students in the school have the opportunity to be tested, County DHHS has agreed to provide the opportunity. 

Dr. Kasirye encourages the remaining students and staff to be tested at the school on June 13th, or to go to their own healthcare provider, or contact DHHS’ Division of Public Health at 916-875-5881 to be tested.
DHHS is offering treatment to all who tested positive and is using a new regimen that consists of taking medicine once a week, for 12 weeks.  It does require direct-observed-therapy (someone from Public Health must be present to watch the person take the medicine) but is an excellent alternative to the other treatment regimen that requires daily medication for nine months. The advantage of the new 12-dose regimen is that it is much easier to complete treatment and be protected from developing active TB. Ensuring that a high proportion of persons who test positive complete preventive treatment is key to preventing future cases of active, infectious TB.
People with latent TB are not infectious and they do not exhibit symptoms. It is, however, necessary to provide preventive treatment to stop progression to active disease.  Only those with active TB may be infectious and can exhibit symptoms such as cough and fever.
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