Watkins Mill High students to be tested for TB

Students and staff members who came in contact with a person who has TB are being tested Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at Watkins Mill High School. (WTOP/Justin Mitchell)

WASHINGTON — More than 100 students and staffers at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, Md. have been offered testing for tuberculosis after a person at the school contracted TB.

The 126 people either attended classes or after-school activities with the individual from October 2013 to January, The Washington Post reports.

Tuesday’s screening follows a waiting period of eight to 10 weeks, the period in which TB would be detectable.

The most recent state figures available indicate Montgomery County reported 85 active cases of TB in 2012.

TB, once the leading cause of death in the U.S., is a disease caused by a bacterium that is spread through the air from person to person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It usually attacks the lungs. Symptoms of TB include a long-lasting bad cough, chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, chills and fever.

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