FORT WORTH, Texas (Apr. 19, 2012)
Tarrant County College today announced that of the 37 students who returned Thursday to Tarrant County College Southeast Campus to have their tuberculosis (TB) skin tests read, three were positive. Two additional students turned in positive test results from a private physician, bringing the total of positive skin test readings to 11.
Anyone with positive readings will receive a chest X-ray on Friday, April 20, and meet with a Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) physician to determine treatment. A positive test does not mean the person contracted latent or sleeping TB from the former TCC student who was active. It was expected that some of those tested at TCC would test positive due to living circumstances, including living in a high density area or have previously lived overseas, especially in a country with a high incidence of TB.
On April 17, 40 of the about 200 students and faculty who may have been in contact with a former TCC student treated for active TB took TB skin tests. Some of the students returned for a retest because they did not return to have their original April 3 skin test read within 72 hours or because they are more than 50 years old and are required to take the test twice. Health officials tested 126 students and faculty on April 3.
An estimated one-third of the worldwide population and 5 to 10 percent of the United States population have latent or sleeping tuberculosis and live normal lives, according to TCPH officials.
- Treatment for active TB is mandatory and there is a procedure that TCPH will follow if someone chooses not to take the treatment
- Latent or sleeping TB is not contagious; it only means that a person has been exposed to TB, which could have been 10 years ago.
- If a person has sleeping TB and does not take medication, it can “wake up” at any time. When it wakes up, a person can have active TB. Therefore, treatment is essential.
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