Houston High School Students Tested for TB

HOUSTON – After a student at a Houston high school was diagnosed with having tuberculosis (TB), more than 100 students and eight teachers at the school were tested for the disease on Jan. 14.

Approximately 135 students out of a student body of 1,900 were tested at North Shore Senior High School. Officials believe the students who are most at risk to contract the disease are those who participate in extracurricular activities, attend classes and have lunch with the infected student.

Students took a simple skin test. The results of the test are available two days after students take it. For those who have a positive skin test, they may need to have a chest X-ray taken and visit the doctor.

Testing was only open for the 135 identified students. Parents of students not in the group were encouraged to take their children to a personal physician.

The disease is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. While it can affect any part of the body, it normally affects the lungs. TB can be fatal if it is not treated properly.

TB can be spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, speaking or singing. Anyone who breathes in the air contaminated with germs could become infected. Symptoms include feelings of weakness, night sweats, weight loss, fever, pain in the chest, coughing that lasts more than two weeks and coughing up blood.

Several drugs must be taken for six months to a year to cure the disease.

The infected student has returned to the school and is on medication.

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