- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - Lake Gibson High School students and teachers are being offered free Tuberculosis tests after a student tested positive for the bacterial disease.

The Ledger of Lakeland (https://bit.ly/1sTmdLR ) reports about 110 people are thought to have been in close enough contact with the student that testing is recommended. This includes family members and those who were in the same classroom, bus or car with the student.

To be tested, people must sign and turn in a permission slip, officials said.

“It generally takes close, prolonged contact,” said Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Health Department in Polk County. For that reason, other students and faculty members who may have been in large, open spaces such as hallways or the cafeteria with the infected student are not at risk.

Choe says the student is being treated at home.

Common symptoms of TB include chronic cough, weight loss, fever, night sweats, chest pain and coughing up blood. Officials say someone who has TB but is no longer symptomatic can return to work or school after two weeks if sputum tests show the treatment is working.

“Tuberculosis is treatable and medicines can fully cure (it),” Choe said.

Choe says 14 to 16 active cases of TB have occurred in Polk County in the last few years. Five have been diagnosed so far this year.


Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), https://www.theledger.com

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