JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KPLR) - Students and staff at Windsor High School will soon find out if they need to be tested for tuberculosis. 3,000 letters go in the mail Wednesday. Less than a hundred of those letters will notify people if a test is needed.
Parents, students and staff gathered at the high school Tuesday night to learn more about the disease from medical experts.
Dana Davis is a parent. She said, “I’m here to find out what’s going.” Heather Baker is also a parent of a student, “Scary. It was scary when we first received the letter via email it was scary.”
Last week state and local health department officials announced that a single case of active tuberculosis was found in a person associated with Windsor. Because of federal privacy guidelines that’s all they will say about the patient.
The disease is spread through the air, a person with the illness coughs, droplets carry the disease and another person can inhale them and it can end up in the person’s lungs.
If a family receives a registered letter in the next few days that means a loved one will need to be tested for TB next week. Those who get the letter likely had close contact with the person who has the disease.
Results will come back in about a week. If they are infected they will receive some kind of treatment. The county health department wanted to reassure everyone involved. Kelley Vollmar is the director of the Jefferson County Health Department. She said, “TB is treatable, it’s curable this is routine we do this every day.”
Even if the test shows a student has been exposed to TB it does not mean that student will get the illness and medical experts will treat the student to keep that from happening. Most recent figures from the CDC show that 1.5 million people around the world died in one year from TB.
Typically many of the deaths occur in very poor countries.