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Dallas Middle School Students To Be Tested For Tuberculosis

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - With two weeks left in the school year, several students and teachers from a Dallas middle school will take an unexpected test Tuesday.

Tuberculosis skin tests will be administered to approximately 150 people at the Thomas Edison Learning Center, after the Dallas County Health Department confirms one of its student showed symptoms of the contagious illness.

The student in question was hospitalized and carried TB symptoms for four weeks. There is no confirmation that the student carried the infection, but because of the contagious nature of the disease, the health department will initiate testing at the school.

“TB is an airborne disease. As you spend more time with an individual, you have more opportunity to acquire the infection,” said Dr. Garry Woo, TB Elimination Medical Director. “So we’ve come up with this list, and we begin initial testing at Edison Middle School June 4th.”

The tests will be offered to students and teachers who spent classroom time with the unnamed student.

TB is spread through the air — by coughing, sneezing, talking, even singing. Symptoms include persistent cough, chest pains, weakness, fever and weight loss. However, in about a quarter of cases, people may not experience any actual symptoms. Anyone who thinks they have TB should call their doctor or local or state TB control office.

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