WASHINGTON – A North Point High School student has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
The Charles County Department of Health confirmed the student’s condition and is working with the county’s school system to be sure no one else in the school is at risk.
The department says TB is a bacterial illness that is spread through the air, usually by coughing or sneezing. It responds well to proper medical treatment.
A person must have prolonged exposure to the infected person in order to get the disease, according to the department. It can’t be spread by touching someone or sharing eating utensils.
The department and school system are working together to identify students who should be tested for TB. Students, teachers and staff who need to be tested will receive a letter and consent form by e-mail and regular mail early next week. Testing will be provided for free by the health department at North Point High School.
Questions can be directed to a family physician or the Charles County Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Program at 301-609-6900, ext. 6025, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. More information about TB is available on the health department’s website. A fact sheet is available on the school system’s website.