Most students screened for TB
What ever happened to the tuberculosis screening at three Oahu public schools after people fell ill with the bacterial disease last academic year?
Answer: The state Department of Health has tested nearly all students and staff from Roosevelt, Kahuku and Farrington high schools who were suspected of having been in close contact with a sick person on their campuses, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
Three people at Farrington High tested positive for latent TB, meaning they were not contagious or ill, and the Health Department encouraged them to get treatment to prevent it from becoming active, Okubo said.
Teachers and students are required to be checked for the bacterial disease, but it is possible that someone carrying latent TB can test negative but develop symptoms later, health officials say.
Tuberculosis, which spreads through the air and usually attacks the lungs, can be fatal if not treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The first TB case happened at Roosevelt last October, when a student was diagnosed with the disease, prompting tests of 163 students and staff. In January the Health Department identified 99 students and seven staff at Kahuku High who were possibly exposed to TB from a teacher. And in May, 119 students and staff at Farrington High were asked to be tested because they were in the same classroom as a student who developed TB.
Okubo said earlier this week that the Health Department was still trying to contact one former Farrington student and another from Roosevelt who may have been exposed to TB but had not yet been tested.
This update was written by Alexandre Da Silva.
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