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Grand Forks Student Diagnosed with Active TB - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Grand Forks Student Diagnosed with Active TB

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Health officials are reporting that a student at Winship Elementary School in Grand Forks has been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB). Health officials say this new case is a child connected to the TB outbreak in Grand Forks and the child did not contact TB while attending school. This brings the total number of active cases identified as part of this outbreak to 16.

Parents of children in this classroom are being contacted today with information about testing. Only those children that were in close contact with the active TB case will need to be tested. Testing will take place at Winship Elementary on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at 2 p.m.

Testing and investigations have shown that these cases identified since October are connected to previously confirmed cases in the area. Here is a breakdown of age and gender associated with the cases:

  • Children under 10 years old: 4
  • 10-19 Years Old: 2
  • 20-29 Years Old: 5
  • 30-39 Yeras Old: 0
  • 40-49 Years Old: 3
  • 50-59 Years Old:1
  • 60 Years and Older: 1

About Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a disease that is spread from person to person through the air when someone with TB disease has coughed or sneezed into the air, usually in an indoor environment. This means that students in the same classrooms as the sick children will be recommended for testing.

Health officials continue to do contact investigations to identify people who may have been exposed to the active cases that may be infectious. Those who are considered at risk will be contacted and given guidance about testing procedures.

Anyone can get TB. Individuals with weakened immune systems, including those with AIDS or those infected with HIV, are at increased risk. In the United States, the most common risk factors for TB are social factors, such as substance abuse, being incarcerated in a correctional facility, minority populations, being born in a country where TB is more common and homelessness.

The general symptoms of TB disease include feeling sick or weak, weight loss, fever and night sweats. The symptoms of TB of the lungs include productive, prolonged cough (duration of three weeks or longer), chest pain, and coughing up blood. It should be noted that symptoms usually develop gradually and last for a prolonged period of time. This is different than symptoms of the flu, which usually come on very suddenly and go away after a couple of days to a week. Anyone experiencing symptoms of TB should contact his or her health-care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation.

The most important way to stop the spread of tuberculosis is to cover the mouth and nose when coughing, and for those with TB to take the prescribed medication as directed. Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.

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