Update on Tuberculosis Screening at American River College

 

Department of Health and Human Services
Sherri Z. Heller
Director

12/7/2015 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento County Public Health, in collaboration with American River College, has completed TB skin tests for 48 students and staff at American River College main campus and Natomas Center satellite campus. This was done as part of a continuing investigation following the diagnosis of a student with active TB disease.

Five tested positive for exposure to TB. They will be further evaluated and offered preventative treatment.

No active cases of TB were identified.

Students who have a positive skin test but do not display symptoms will not be excluded from school, because they are not infectious. A second round of testing will be conducted in 8-10 weeks for those who tested negative. This is a required step because in some people, it may take that long for the body to develop a response to the test.

It is important for the public to understand that the latent form of TB is not infectious. It is, however, necessary to provide preventative treatment to stop progression to active disease. Only those with active TB may be infectious and can exhibit symptoms such as cough and fever.

DHHS is offering treatment to all who tested positive and will use 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.

"With these results, we don't see evidence of transmission," says Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer.  It is anticipated that at any given time, some people in the general population will test positive for latent TB.  Kasirye continues, "We will continue to work closely with the school, which has been remarkably cooperative and professional throughout this investigation. The next step is that we will work together to schedule re-testing in 8-10 weeks for those who tested negative."

For questions concerning Tuberculosis, please call (916) 875-5881.

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