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200 McKinley High students, staff to be tested for TB

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:49 p.m. HST, Oct 18, 2010

About 200 students and staff members at McKinley High School will be tested for tuberculosis due to possible exposure from a student who was diagnosed with active TB disease, the state Department of Health said today.

The student with active TB was taken out of school and is receiving treatment, officials said. Parents of all students were notified by letter from school administration, and information sessions were held late last week, the Health Department said.

“Parents should know that tuberculosis usually requires many hours of close indoor contact to be communicable, so only those students with lots of exposure need to be tested,” said Dr. Richard Brostrom, chief of the Health Department’s Tuberculosis Control Branch.

The affected student is doing well and should be cured, Brostrom said.

The Health Department only will be testing students and staff who shared the same classroom as the ill student. The TB testing will take place tomorrow at the school.

TB is a disease that is commonly seen in the lungs and is spread from person to person through the air. When a person with active TB coughs, sneezes or speak, tiny droplets containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis can be spread into the air, officials said.

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