Tuberculosis facts & concerns

Posted by Helen Williams on 9/5/2018 10:45:00 AM

On Aug. 31, Greenville High School's football team and fans attended the game at W.T. White High School in Dallas. Dallas County Health and Human Services have confirmed two cases of tuberculosis at the school. DCHHS officials are partnering with Dallas ISD to perform skin tests on staff and students who may have been exposed, according to a news report.


Greenville ISD health officials contacted the Hunt County Health Department to determine their recommendation for students and others who attended the game. Because the two confirmed cases were diagnosed and the two indivicuals have been undergoing treatment for two months, health officials say the risk is minimal.


However, family healthcare decisions should be made by family members and their doctors. 


TB can be treated and cured. TB is rarely spread to persons who spend brief amounts of time together. Symptoms include:


  • frequent coughing, often coughing up blood
  • night sweats
  • weakness
  • weight loss

Hunt County Health Department does not offer TB testing.


In an effort to eliminate TB, Dallas County Health and Human Services offers skin testing to help diagnose TB infections. Patients are given a small injection just under the skin on their arms. They are then asked to return 48 hours later for results.


The clinic is located on the third floor of the DCHHS building, 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas, in Room 300.


Clinic hours for skin testing are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, EXCEPT Thursdays. (Skin testing is not done on Thursdays.)


Appointments for skin tests are not necessary. The fee is $30.


The CDC states only persons with active TB disease can spread TB bacteria to others. TB germs are spread from person to person when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, laughs or anything else that causes germs to become airborne. Before you would be able to spread TB to others, you would have to breathe in TB bacteria and become infected. Then the active bacteria would have to multiply in your body and cause active TB disease. At this point, you could possibly spread TB bacteria to others. People with TB disease are most likely to spread the bacteria to people they spend time with every day, such as family members, friends, coworkers, or schoolmates.


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