100 Irving High School Students Tested For TB

By Jennifer Lindgren CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – 100 students at Nimitz High School in Irving were tested for tuberculosis Wednesday.

The group of students was offered the free testing because they may have been exposed to TB when they shared a class last spring with a student recently diagnosed with the contagious disease.

That student, who has not been identified, began showing symptoms late this summer. He or she is being treated, and is expected to be fine.

Members of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services conducted the skin tests at the school, and will be back on Friday to look at the results.

If enough show positive signs, the health department will expand its investigation and offer those students preventative medicine.

Medical Director Dr. Garry Woo, of the health department’s TB Clinic, says they see about 40-60 people on any given day.

But in all of Dallas County, only 180 people were diagnosed with TB in 2012.

“It’s uncommon unless your body is weak or your immune system is compromised,” Dr. Woo said.

Dr. Woo says it will be tough to determine how the student contracted TB in the first place. “It’s unlikely. Certainly it’s less than a 50 percent chance. We haven’t found other cases of TB In the family,” Dr. Woo said.

Even though their children weren’t one of those exposed, a few parents of Nimitz students did go to the health department for testing.

“I saw the news about the TB at Nimitz High School, so we decided to be safe and take my niece up here and have her tested,” said Scotty Jones.

Jones’s niece attends the high school.

“There’s other kids in the house. You don’t want to spread to everyone else. It can be nothing, but we take our health seriously,” Jones said.

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