Health Information for University High School Families
April 18, 2019
Dear University High School Parent/Guardian,
Waco ISD has been informed by the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District that an individual from University High School has been diagnosed with tuberculosis (often called “TB”). That individual is currently undergoing treatment.
The Health District and the Department of State Health Service Regional TB Program believe the possibility that tuberculosishas been transmitted to a student or staff member at University High School is minimal. However, we want you to be aware of this diagnosis and want to share some basic information about tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that can spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released in the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings. If someone breathes in the germ, it may cause an infection in the lungsor another part of the body. Not everyone who breathes in the bacteria will get a tuberculosis infection.
Although tuberculosis is contagious, it is not easy to catch. Tuberculosis is not spread by sharing silverware or cups or sharing saliva when kissing someone. You’re much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live or work with than from a stranger. For additional information about tuberculosis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/TB
Since receiving the initial notification, Waco ISD has worked closely with the Health District. Out of an abundance of caution, district facilities where any exposure might have occurred have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. While the individual who is being treated will not be named, the Health District has also been working with University High School to identify anyone who might have been exposed.
Students and staff members who may have had prolonged or frequent contact with the patient will receive tuberculosis testing from the Health District at no charge. Those people requiring screening will receive a letter from the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District with further instructions.
Should you have questions or concerns, please contact the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Tuberculosis Prevention and Care staff at 254-750-5496.
Rhiannon Settles, RN-BC, BSN Waco ISD Health Services Coordinator