TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - A suspected case of tuberculosis at an Indiana middle school has health officials preparing to test up to 1,000 students and school employees for the disease.
The parents of Woodrow Wilson Middle School students were notified by phone calls Monday about the illness, but Vigo County health officials wouldn't disclose whether the sick person was a student or employee.
County health administrator Joni Foulkes tells the Tribune-Star that the department expects to administer skin tests to detect TB at the school on May 29 and check them on May 31, which is the last day of school for the students.
Foulkes said the ill person is no longer at the school.
"It's important to the school corporation and the health department to capture and test the students" while they are still in school, she said.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs and is typically passed through sneezing or coughing.
Foulkes said the testing was set for next week so that school officials would have time for parents to return consent forms and so that the health department could obtain supplies for so many tests.
Health officials don't yet plan to test school visitors or other people unless the school tests find more possible cases.
"We identify who might have been in the initial ring of contact," Foulkes said. "When you look at it being airborne and in a school, it's a highly communicable environment."
Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com
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