JPS student contracts tuberculosis; Doctor explains symptoms, treatment for the disease

The Department of Health says it will be testing 200 students and faculty members for the infection

JPS student contracts tuberculosis; Doctor explains symptoms, treatment for the disease

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Pick ups in the carpool line started early at Provine High School after the Mississippi Department of Health reported a student tested positive for active tuberculosis.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs and the Department of Health is now working with Jackson Public Schools to identify students and staff who may have been exposed.

“We are conducting an investigation and have identified individuals who may be at risk of being in contact with the person with tuberculosis," said Dobbs.

The Department of Health says it will be testing 200 students and faculty members for the infection over the next couple of weeks.

“We only test people who would have shared significant air space" said Dobbs. “Anyone who would have been in contact with the individual in the classroom or school bus or something like that."

Tuberculosis is a respiratory infection that spreads when a person inhales airborne germs. The most common way to become infected with TB is to have direct, extended contact with someone who has the active disease.

Symptoms include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, night sweats and weight loss.

Exposure to the active disease can result in infection. The infection is not contagious though and has no symptoms, but can develop into active TB disease over time if not treated.

“Tuberculosis infection does not make people sick, it does not make them contagious. But if we identify these individuals through blood testing we can offer them medications to kill any dormant germs that might be in their system," said Dobbs.

MSDH will hold a meeting with parents at the Provine High School Auditorium on Thursday, February 14, from 6 -7 p.m. to address questions and provide information.

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