About 120 students and staff at the University of Hawaii at Hilo may have been exposed to someone on campus who had active tuberculosis.
The state Department of Health and the university said today in a press release that an investigation was begun after being notified of the active TB case, resulting in notification to about 120 people who may have been exposed. Those who have been notified will be able to get tested at a special clinic set up for them on campus.
“The University of Hawaii Hilo campus activities and all classes can be held as scheduled with no safety concerns related to the past possible exposure,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We don’t expect to find more individuals with infectious TB disease, but we hope to identify individuals who may have had recent exposure, are not contagious, and could benefit from preventative medication.”
“Tuberculosis usually requires many hours of close indoor person-to-person contact to spread it to others,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, chief of the TB Control Branch. “Most of the students and staff are not at risk, and our investigation to date has found no related active TB cases and no spread of the disease at the university or in the community.”
The person who had active TB has been treated and is no longer infectious, the state said.
More information on tuberculosis can be found by contacting the State of Hawaii Tuberculosis Control Program at 832-5731 or visiting the Department of Health website at www.hawaii.gov/health/tb.