North Mesquite High Student Suspected Of Contracting Tuberculosis

COPPELL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – An 8th grade Coppell Middle School North student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis and has been receiving treatment since last week, according to the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services.

TB is caused by a bacteria that usually attacks the lungs but can also attack other parts of the body, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are in full cooperation with the Dallas County health department, which has asked us to share the attached letter with our North community,” Principal Greg Axelson said in a letter to the community on the matter. “Dallas County health officials have told us the most important thing to remember is that TB is a disease that is hard to spread to others. Close, direct, and continuous contact over hours is generally necessary for transmission of the disease to another person.”

Axelson went on to say, “We are working with the Dallas County health officials and have determined which students and staff may have been in close, direct, and continuous contact with this student and, therefore, may have possibly have been exposed to TB. Only the parents and guardians of these few identified students, as well as certain staff members, will receive a separate notification from CMS North about free TB testing through the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. If you are not notified by CMS North and Dallas County about testing your child for TB, this means that he or she was not in close, direct, and continuous contact with the affected student and, therefore, is not at risk for TB.”

DCHHS told CBS 11 in a statement on Wednesday, “We  have been in contact with the school district and school. Contact investigations have commenced and staff, parents and students have been made aware. The student is currently being treated.”

More information about TB can be found here and here.