Barren County High Student Diagnosed with TB

By: Kelly Sparks
By: Kelly Sparks

Parents and students at Barren County High School are worried after an announcement that a student at the school has tuberculosis.

Friday afternoon Barren County High School held a news conference to inform parents and faculty about the situation.

They aren't releasing the name of the student with TB for confidentiality reasons but they are sending out letters to students and faculty members if they were in class with the infected student.

On December 23, Barren County High School will offer TB testing for eight dollars.

If you have any questions or concerns you call the disease team at the Barren River District Health Department at 781-8039 extensions 183, 187, 190 or for weekends or holidays use extension 126.

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What is Tuberculosis?

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease, caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Like the common cold, it spreads through the air.

  • The symptoms of TB include a bad cough that lasts longer than two weeks, chest pain, and coughing up blood or phlegm from deep within the lungs.

  • Other symptoms of TB include; weakness or fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, fever and night sweats.

How is TB Spread?

  • TB is spread through the air from one person to another, and if the bacteria are inhaled those people may become infected.

  • When a person breathes in the TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine and brain.

  • People with TB are more likely to spread it to people they spend time with everyday. This includes family members, friends, and co-workers.

How You Can Get Tested

  • A TB skin test is the only way to find out if you have TB infection. You can get a skin test at the health department or at your doctor's office.

  • A health care worker can give you the TB skin test. They will inject a small amount of testing fluid just under the skin on the lower part of your arm. After two or three days, the health care worker will measure your reaction to the test.

  • You should get tested for TB if you; have spent time with a person with infectious TB, have the HIV infection or another condition that puts you high at risk for TB disease, are from a country where TB disease is very common, or if you inject drugs.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ ( Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web Site)


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