- Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2014

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) - Health officials in northeastern Nebraska are tracking down those who might have been exposed to a Norfolk student diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department has worked with the student’s family to compile a list of people who may have been in contact with the Park Avenue Christian School student, the Norfolk Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/1m5wRMH ) Saturday. The student’s age is not known.

“The student is in recovery at home and doing well,” said Gina Uhing, director of the health department based in Wisner.

Tuberculosis is a contagious lung disease that’s relatively rare in the United States. State health records say only 125 cases were recorded in Nebraska from 2009 through 2013. Federal records say only 9,600 new U.S. tuberculosis cases were reported in 2013.

“We’ve had a few cases in the area in the past few years,” Uhing said. “Part of it has to do with people doing more traveling.”

Parents of students at Park Avenue were given information Wednesday night at a meeting arranged by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services after the student tested positive.

Tuberculosis is slow to develop, and it can take up to 10 weeks before a person who has been exposed will test positive for the infection, Uhing said. Common symptoms include unexplained rapid weight loss, profuse coughing, night sweats and fever. Tuberculosis is treated with a course of antimicrobial drugs.

Uhing said it’s important to remember that simply encountering a person who has tuberculosis in a hallway or at a park does not constitute a high-risk exposure.


Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com



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