Reporting Stephanie Lucero
IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) - Students and staff members at Macarthur High School in the Irving Independent School District are preparing for a big test. But it has nothing to do with academics. About 80 individuals will begin tuberculosis testing on Tuesday. This comes after another student at the Irving school tested positive for the illness last week.
A community meeting took place at the campus on Monday night, where parents said that they were not happy with how this health scare has been handled.
However, they were informed by health officials that there is no reason for alarm. Tuberculosis can be treated with antibiotics. But if it is left untreated, the illness can be deadly. Officials asked those who attended the meeting to take a deep breath and stay calm.
Parents did not get all of the answers that they wanted at the Monday night meeting. Many left the campus upset that health officials were not releasing more information about the sick student, and angry with the fact that officials knew about the illness for up to 10 days before notifying the public.
Jennifer Martinez said that she was not told until Monday that her daughter was among those who may have been exposed to tuberculosis. “I freaked out,” the Irving parent said. “They pulled her to the side and told her that she was one of the ones that was around the child, and she needed to be tested.”
“That’s a concern for me, that they’re not notifying us,” said parent Alicia Williams. “But I do understand that sometimes people are actually not going to the doctor.”
Even some students were unhappy with what they heard — or did not hear — at the meeting. “I’m a senior,” said Eduardo Valtierra. “I would like to know if he’s a senior or a freshman. It would get my worries down.”
While only about 80 people have been asked to get checked out, those not exposed to the illness will also be able to have skin tests done at no charge. Health officials will be on hand on Tuesday at Macarthur High School to conduct the testing.
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