At least 12 students/staff of Kemper High School in suburban Houston are being tested for tuberculosis. On Tuesday, local health officials claimed that an active case was discovered to be on the school property. The scare caused a full evacuation of the premises, which led to the media covering the event via helicopter.
Free testing will be available all week for staff and students.
While tuberculosis doesn’t spread in easy fashion, the state requires any instances of the illness to be reported and that proper protocols are put in place. It is possible that family and friends of staff and students will also be asked to get a test.
“It’s tricky with TB because you can have a latent infection. Your body can get the bacteria or the infection and if your system is active, it takes care of it and you won’t get any symptoms. Weeks, months, years later you could take a big hit and that bacteria is now ready to thrive, then you could get symptoms at that time,” pediatrician Dr. Shereen Alikhan said via Houston’s Fox affiliate.
Extended bouts of coughing, fever, and sometimes weight loss can be associated with tuberculosis.