For Immediate Release
October 12, 2016; 3:35pm
DPHSS Release No. 2017-002
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) in collaboration with the Department of Education is reporting that several students attending C.L. Taitano Elementary School and Agueda I. Johnston Middle School were diagnosed with active tuberculosis. The students have been released from school and will return upon medical clearance.
The DPHSS Bureau of Communicable Disease Control Tuberculosis (TB) Program is working with school officials to identify all close contacts recommended to undergo TB screening. Faculty, staff and parents are being notified by letter and are provided information on the dates for the TB screening.
Tuberculosis is not easily contracted, and risk is low to faculty and students who have not had prolonged exposure in an enclosed environment with the TB case. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria causing tuberculosis, is carried through the air in infectious droplet nuclei too small for the naked eye (small air-borne particles less than 5 microns in size) which is produced when persons with tuberculosis of the lung or larynx sneeze, cough, speak or sing. People cannot get infected with TB bacteria through handshakes, sitting on toilet seats, or sharing dishes and utensils with someone who has TB disease. Persons exhibiting symptoms of the disease such as: a bad cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks, coughing up bloody sputum, weakness or fatigue, chills, weight loss, no appetite, fever and night sweats should see their doctor for an evaluation.
For more information you may call Gloria Mendiola, TB Control Program Manager at 735-3602/7145/7157 from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.