KCUR News
11:37 am
Thu January 13, 2011

Testing Begins At KCK School After Student Diagnosed With TB

Kansas City, KS – An eighth grader at Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas has been diagnosed with an active case tuberculosis, or TB.

Officials at the school say they can't remember having ever dealt with a case of TB before. They met with several dozen parents last night to discuss the situation. Jannette Ayala has two kids at Rosedale. She says she has several questions about the situation.

"When are they going to do the testing? How soon are they going to get it done? How many other students have it[TB]?"

The school's identified about 180 people who may have been in contact with the student (who's now being treated).

Phil Griffin, the state's TB controller, says they'll be testing students during school this Friday and then following up with results early next week. He says it's important to be cautious and test so many kids, but he doesn't think there will be many - if any - new cases of the disease.

"We don't see a whole lot of people being infected in any investigation," Griffin says.

Griffin says tuberculosis is not easily transmitted. It's airborne, but a person must be in close contact with someone with the disease for a long period of time in order to be at risk of getting it.

Griffin says he typically sees one to three school-aged cases of TB throughout the state each year. Meanwhile, he says the disease is at an all-time low in Kansas, with there only being about 50 cases in total last year.

Missouri is experiencing similar trends.

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