Denton Transfer Student From Ennis Tests Positive For TB After Hospitalization

DENTON (CBS 11 News EXCLUSIVE) – A Denton High School student who recently moved from Ennis has been hospitalized following complications that could be connected to Tuberculosis.

Melissa Sosa of Denton says she saw the warning signs in her 16-year-old son, but wasn’t exactly sure about his condition.  “The fatigue and weight loss is a big thing. You may think they’re on diets, but no, it wasn’t the case.”

She says she never saw the ‘classic’ symptoms of TB.  “The cough… people mistake that they’re going to have this hacking forceful cough. It wasn’t like that.”

It wasn’t until Tuesday morning that Sosa feared the worst after her son became dizzy and nauseous.  “He walked outside and before we left, he passed out.”

Sosa rushed her child to Denton Regional Hospital.  The 45-year-old mother says her son’s initial skin test for Tuberculosis came back positive, and now the family is waiting for results from a second test to see if he has contagious, or active TB.

“I asked ‘what’s on the x-ray?’ and they said, ‘the entire right side he has black,'” she said, referring to the boy’s lung.

“Because of how this happened, I was not about to let it happen in my town. So yes, Denton knows and everybody has been notified,” she said.

The boy is a junior at Denton High School.  However, he attended Ennis High School last year and spent the entire school year taking a science class with a teacher who has the contagious form of Tuberculosis.

Ennis High has been the home of a TB scare where nearly 200 students and faculty have tested positive for the latent or non-active form of the disease, while as many as ten people are suspected of having the active form.

Denton ISD is aware of Sosa’s son and is preparing for the worst.  District spokeswoman Sharon Cox says an emergency plan is ready to go.

>>Denton ISD notice to parents<<

Cox says the district has “been in contact with Denton Regional Hospital and the Denton County Health Department and are waiting on test results.”

Late Wednesday, Cox confirmed to CBS 11 that the district was contacting parents of Denton High School students by phone to advise them of the situation.

Denton County Health Department spokeswoman Betsy Haggard also issued a statement to CBS 11, saying “We have been made aware of a possible Tuberculosis case in Denton County. We are in the process of investigating the case.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services, who has played an active role in the Ennis TB case, also said they were investigating the latest incident.  “We are conducting a full investigation, and that includes doing everything we can to locate close contacts, even if they’ve moved away.  We do this by letter, phone or by working with a local health department to track and investigate possible cases,” said spokeswoman Carrie Williams.

Meanwhile, Sosa’s son remains in isolation at Denton Regional awaiting the latest test results.

MORE: Ennis High School TB Latest
MORE: Latest On TB Investigation From State Health Services

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  • darrell

    i think its time for a much broader investigation of the origins and possible contamination range of this outbreak. exposure from the last school year is a lot different than recent exposure this year and may affect many more people than previously thought.

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  • Rosanna

    Our prayers go out to the Sosa family and the Denton School District. We hope that communication with parents, school, and TDSHS are much better than we recieved here in Ennis. We pray that Mrs. Sosa’s son gets the medical care warranted and in a timely fashion so that he can heal quickly.

  • Cindy L.

    I have 2 girls that attend Denton High School and I am FURIOUS with the school for allowing this boy to transfer from Ennis without having him tested for TB first. Why expose all of these innocent kids when it could have been prevented? Just got off the phone with the school & the lady was not very nice about this. Gave her an earful! I am waiting on a call from my doctor and then I will make the decision whether or not I will be picking up my kids early & keeping them at home!

    • student with suspected case from Denton High

      I’m the student that everyone is talking about, the one that Denton High started testing the students for TB. Nobody knew that the teacher had TB until the school year started. When I transferred too Denton High, I had no idea. Therefore, Denton High had no idea either. It’s not Denton High Schools fault. Luckily, we caught my TB case early. ALL my family tested negative. So I highly doubt I gave any of the students at Denton High TB. They probably messed with the skin test or they could have been exposed to it sometime in their life, but if my family, who i live with, doesn’t have it, I didn’t give it to anyone at Denton High.

    • darrell

      Cindy, i understand your anger and personally would not blame you from pulling your children out of school until the situation is resolved. however, i dont think that either Denton or Enis school districts can be directly blamed in this case. my understanding is that EISD and possibly health officials as well knew nothing of the teachers condition until school had started this year. i could be wrong on that but have not seen any information to the contrary. the boy in denton it seems was exposed during last years school session not this years and based on the advanced degree of his infection he has had it all summer. ive said from the beginning that i thought this was beyond the scope of the texas health officials and that the CDC should have allready been brought in to investigate the scope of the outbreak and lead the way in testing and treatment of people. personally i think the outbreak is very widespread and extends well beyond the north texas area. but who am i and what is my opinion worth. i have to political or financial stake in it.

    • 2sister

      I understand your anger and frustration, but state law doesn’t dictate that students or teachers need to be tested for TB unless there is a reason to suspect that they could have been contaminated. The Ennis news story didn’t break out till the school year had already started. Also, I doubt Denton ISD had any way of knowing or suspecting that the student had TB until after the news story broke.

  • TJ

    Expect the number of diseases we haven’t seen in this country to rise exponentially with the numbers of illegls we are forced to deal with.

    • 2sister

      TJ, we don’t know where the teacher contracted TB. I don’t approve of illegal immigration, but I don’t think we should make blanket statements that imply that the teacher caught the disease from someone who is in this country illegally. The simple truth is that we don’t know where he caught, because we know nothing about the teacher’s life.

    • TD

      I don’t quite understand how your comment is relevant to this story. Are you implying that the teacher who made all of these students sick was in the country illegally and not an American citizen? Wouldn’t the school board be responsible for checking the teacher’s immigration status before hiring him/her? Are American citizens somehow unable to spread potentially deadly diseases? And lastly, can you even spell “illegal” correctly?

      • 2sister

        I think he is implying that the teacher caught it from someone who was in the country illegally, which may or may not be true.

    • darrell

      TJ, be careful what you say about illegals. they are the pets of the socialist arm of the DNC. they have many weapons to use against those they deem as enemies. the IRS for one. also employers of yourself and family members may be pressured to terminate your employment. if you draw unemployment, get food stamps or other government aid you may suddenly find your benefits have been suspended and you must go through the application process from the beginning again. the DNCs new philosophy is
      You will be assimulated. Resistance is futile.

      • swell

        This makes for some hysterical reading! I think conspiracy theorists are some of the best comedians out there. Thanks for making my day!

      • darrell

        lol, my comments to TJ were mostly meant to be comic relief. however, im a disabled vet and way back in 2008 before my health went south while attending a protest of our new president i somehow must have made it on a list. i know my name was taken but i didnt think much about it at the time. lets just say i have had extreme difficulty getting any benefits i have earned or any assistance with federal ties at all. the whole story is long and would probably make a a great tear jerker of a movie. so lets just say the string of events in my life since that day have been numerous and painful in many ways. but i try to maintain a sense of humor and it keeps me going lol. glad i could lighten your day.

    • teremist

      You are entirely correct, but I must also ADD there is absolutely NO MEDICAL SCREENING for anyone coming to the USA, legally, illegally, by student or work visa or just on vacation. (Unless a person is very obviously seriously ill, they are never questioned.) America is seeing a sharp increase in diseases thought to be eradicated in the USA. TB, polio, are among them. VACCINATE YOUR KIDS, make sure they are up to date, AND check with your doctor about the vaccinations YOU need to not only stay healthy, but to prevent spreading disease.

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  • Tawny Nuesmeyer McGehee

    My question is why are yearly skin tests not required in districts with know enrollment of illegal students? Immunizations are required and this would just be another means of preventing communicable disease. Nurses are required to have them annually in order to be employed in the health care industry just for this reason. I think it is something the CDC and /or local health departments need to consider.

  • DHNC

    That poor boy. I hope he gets better i also hope that this strain of TB doesn’t become a superbug or supervirus

  • Swell

    In all seriousness, with the ease of air travel and the increase in global warming, diseases such as TB, dengue fever, measles, and polio, which were thought to be extinguished in the developed world, are rearing their ugly heads again. Travellers are being exposed out of the country and bringing them across our borders when they come into the US to visit or return from a trip. Then, because we’ve in large part dismantled those pieces of our public health care sector (and in the case of measles and polio, parents are opting out of vaccinating their children), we are not catching early exposures to these illnesses. So we don’t know we have a problem until the epidemic is ready to start.

  • Rapid

    There is a new rapid test that can detect MTB in 90 minutes from a sample. The company is called cepheid and they use the test in the rest of world to detect TB early and treat

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