AMARILLO -- The City of Amarillo Department of Public Health has confirmed a student at Fannin Middle School has tuberculosis (TB). The health department is conducting the contact investigation and is working closely with Amarillo Independent School District to identify classmates and teachers who have possibly been exposed.
In conjunction with AISD, the health department is sending a permission letter to parents of potentially exposed children asking for consent to give a TB skin test.
“TB exposures are most likely with children or teachers spending five (5) hours or more per week with the infected student” says Dr. Matt Richardson, director of Public Health for the City of Amarillo. “Because of that risk, we’re asking parents to allow us to test their kids and follow up if necessary.”
Once test results are reviewed, anyone testing positive for TB will then be evaluated to determine if they have an active form of the disease. The health department will coordinate further testing and treatment at no cost to the families of contacts.
“TB is a potentially serious infection of contagious and infectious bacteria that is treatable with antibiotics” says Health Authority for the Amarillo Bi-County Health District, Dr. Roger Smalligan. “We are working closely with AISD to determine who needs to be tested and treated. The good news is that testing contacts will allow us to find any potential cases and limit the possible spread of disease. We don’t believe we have an outbreak situation in the school, but we are proactively investigating and screening any potential exposures.”
Signs and symptoms of active TB disease are:
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Parents who receive the permission letter are encouraged to report any of the symptoms listed above to the health department. If parents or teachers have questions, they are encouraged to call the City of Amarillo Department of Public Health at (806) 378-6300 or attend a meeting for parents in the Fannin Middle School cafeteria on Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m.
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