By Jack Fink

RED OAK (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents in the Red Oak Independent School District are concerned about a possible case of tuberculosis in their community. An employee at an elementary school may have come down with the disease, and the district spent a second night trying to educate the public.

More than 200 concerned parents and employees gathered Thursday night to learn more about tuberculosis. A staff member at Wooden Elementary School may have the disease, and may have exposed students and co-workers.

Will Rogers and his wife are concerned about their 10-year-old daughter, who go to class at the school. “I’m very concerned – like any parent would be – not just for my daughter’s sake, but her bringing it home and giving it to my wife and myself,” Rogers said.

Marisol Juarez has two children going to other schools in the district, but she is still a little bit concerned. “I want to know information about the TB,” she said, “so I can protect them and my family.”

State health department doctors explained to parents that tuberculosis is spread through prolonged exposure to infected airborne particles. It is not spread by passing others in a hallway or on silverware.

CBS 11 News spoke to parents at the meeting, and many said that the district has done a good job of communicating the issue and easing any concerns.

“I really do not feel there’s any reason to be alarmed,” said parent Rebecca Latimer, who owns a daycare center across the street from the elementary school and watches some of the students after classes. He daughter also attends Wooden Elementary School. “Not only did I send her to school today, I went and ate lunch with her.”

Next week, the state will give students and school staff members a tuberculosis skin test. Even if tests come back positive, other tests will be required before a person can actually be diagnosed with the disease.

The symptoms of tuberculosis include chest pain and a prolonged cough, but that is only in active cases. About a quarter of the cases are inactive, and those patients may not see any actual symptoms.

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