Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser has determined that tuberculosis (TB) test results from the clinic held at Tahquitz High School from approximately 150 students were within expected levels that health officials expect to find in the general public.
A positive test result means the person had been exposed to TB at some time in the past, but does not necessarily mean the person has an active case of the disease. The students were given skin tests Tuesday, Aug. 15 and results were read Thursday, Aug. 17 at the school.
At this time, testing will not be expanded to other students or staff, Kaiser said.
The testing was done after a student was recently diagnosed with active TB. The student is receiving treatment and is expected to recover. The student is not being identified due to confidentiality requirements.
Those who tested positive will get a chest x-ray and follow up with an appropriate provider. The x-ray will help determine whether an individual might have a latent TB infection, which is not contagious, rather than active TB. No testing was needed for those individuals who did not receive the notification letter because they were not considered to be at risk for exposure.
Tuberculosis is a disease spread through the air during prolonged, repeated and close contact with an individual who is infected with active tuberculosis. People may contract TB when breathing air exhaled by someone who is sick with TB. When left untreated, TB can result in complications that can be serious.
We are working with the Health Department to identify students and staff who may have been exposed. Those who have been identified as possibly being exposed will receive a notice from the County Health Department.
If you do not receive a notice from the Health Department, your child is not at risk of exposure. The Health Department has assured us that the risk of transmission is low.
As a precautionary measure the Health Department is recommending that anyone who is identified as having been exposed be screened with a TB skin test. A clinic will be held for those that received a notice from the Health Department to be screened for tuberculosis.
If you have questions or concerns, you may contact your health care provider or the Public Health Department Disease Control at (951) 358-5107 or visit the Department of Public Health’s website www.rivco-diseasecontrol.org.
Please know that the health and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. If you have questions or want more information, please attend our parent informational meeting on Thursday, August 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the gymnasium.