VIDEO: Solano County Health Department investigating tuberculosis case at high school

SOLANO COUNTY (KRON) — The Solano County Public Health Department, along with Armijo High School in Fairfield, is investigating a case of “active pulmonary tuberculosis” associated with the school, according to health officials.

“Our number one priority is to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff at Armijo High School,” said Michael Stacey, MD, MPH, Deputy Health Officer and TB Controller for Solano County Health and Social Services. “The individual with active pulmonary TB disease is receiving treatment and will return to the school campus only after Public Health has provided clearance. We want to reassure everyone that there is no ongoing risk of TB infection from the active TB case at this time. Parents and guardians are encouraged to send their children to school and staff should report to work as usual.”

A letter was sent out to parents about the TB case on Thursday, and a second letter will be mailed next week.

“We care deeply about the health and well-being of our students and staff and their safety is of utmost importance to us,” said Eric Tretten, Armijo High School Principal. “Armijo High School is cooperating fully with Solano Public Health. We are doing everything we can to identify everyone that the TB case has been in contact with so that they can be properly assessed by public health officials.”

Here is the letter:

ahs-tb-eng

No other information has been released at this time.

Officials will release more information at the 4:30 p.m. news conference, which will be streamed live on KRON4.com.

“TB is a serious, treatable and slow-growing bacterial disease. It usually affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other parts of the body, including the brain, kidneys and spine. TB is transmitted person-to-person through microscopic droplets that enter the air when a person with active pulmonary TB disease coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. People who breathe in air containing TB bacteria can become infected; however, not everyone infected with TB becomes sick,” health officials said in a press release.

The most common way a person could become infected with TB is by spending a lot of time in an enclosed space with a person who has the disease.

“Contact investigations, like the one currently under way, are an important step in stopping the spread of TB,” Dr. Stacey said. “It is important that we evaluate everyone who has had prolonged close contact in an enclosed space with the TB case and test them. We will treat individuals with antibiotics, if necessary, to prevent the development of active TB disease.”

Stay with KRON4 for updates on this breaking news story on-air, online, and on the KRON4 app.

TB FACTS:

It is important to note that not everyone who has a TB infection will go on to develop TB disease. There is a difference between TB infection and active TB disease, including:

People with TB infection:
– Do not have disease and are not sick because the bacteria are inactive
– Have TB bacteria in their bodies
– Cannot spread the TB bacteria to others
– Have about a 10 percent risk of developing active TB disease during their lifetime

People with active pulmonary TB disease:
– Are ill from the bacteria that are active in their body
– May cough a lot, feel weak, have a fever, lose weight, cough up blood or sweat a lot at night
– Are contagious and may spread the infection to others until they are treated and have repeated TB tests
– Can be treated and cured
– Can resume public contact once cleared by a doctor

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