Robeson County School and health officials are now offering free Tuberculosis testing to any teenager currently enrolled in Lumberton High School in Lumberton, North Carolina (NC) after several students have tested positive for TB.
The tuberculosis scare started earlier in the school year when one ninth grade student was discovered to be positive for the TB bacteria that carries the disease. According to the Robeson County health director, Bill Smith, the student could have had TB since early June. Bill Smith told reporters, "It was two weeks into the school system, so there wasn’t a whole lot of exposure. The child has been removed immediately."
The child who was originally infected with TB has been quarantined in his home until medical doctors can prove he is no longer contagious. The school board and other health care officials have instated mandatory TB testing for any student who shared a school bus or classroom with the child.
According to Smith the best way to prevent and stop the disease is by testing. For this reason Lumberton High School is offering free non-mandatory testing for any student at the school regardless of contact with the victim. The testing is still on-going. So far seven students and one staff member have returned positive test results for the TB bacteria.
Health Officials are warning the public in Lumberton, North Carolina (NC) that the bacteria may be present in more students, staff and maintenance workers then they originally thought. However, they would like everyone to know that testing positive for the TB bacteria does not necessarily mean the person has Tuberculosis. In order for a person to be accurately diagnosed with TB they must be showing symptoms and an x-ray will be completely to see if the disease is present. Symptoms of TB include frequent and often violent coughing and night sweats.
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