Blood samples are seen in a hospital testing for tuberculosis. (credit: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

Blood samples are seen in a hospital testing for tuberculosis. (credit: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – A high school in Irving is on high alert after a student tested positive for tuberculosis. Now, the Irving Independent School District and Dallas County Health and Human Services are hosting an informational meeting to answer questions for anyone who is concerned about the situation.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening at Macarthur High School in Irving. School district and health department officials will be on hand to offer information about tuberculosis and talk about the current plan going forward. The meeting is intended for parents, students, staff members and community members.

“It’s really just educational,” said Irving ISD spokesperson Lesley Weaver, “helping people understand how TB is contracted and just, I think, to calm fears, to let everybody know that we don’t think there is an epidemic or we don’t have a problem of TB.”

Tuberculosis testing will begin at the campus on Tuesday. Health officials have recommended testing for about 80 students and employees who may have come in close contact with the student who has already tested positive. The testing is free.

Meanwhile, everybody on campus Monday is receiving a handout that features information about tuberculosis, how it is spread and which medications are available to help treat the illness.

Health officials are not releasing information about the student who has tuberculosis, except to say that they believe the student acquired it while out of state, and he or she is currently being treated.

This all comes on the heels of a similar scare at another high school in Irving. Last month, more than 130 students and staff members were tested for tuberculosis at Nimitz High School. Those individuals shared a classroom last spring with a student who had tuberculosis. During that round of testing, another five students came up positive for skin exposure to tuberculosis.

Dallas County health officials said that the two cases are completely separate, not linked in any way. But they are concerned that the illness continues to be an issue within the community. That is why they have called for the Monday meeting, to educate people about tuberculosis and answer any questions.

“It’s good that the community is taking part in trying to fix the problem,” said student Christopher Ceballos, “keep it from spreading.”

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