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Atlee students possibly exposed to tuberculosis

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- The Hanover Health Department is working to evaluate students, faculty, and staff at Atlee High School after one active case of tuberculosis (TB) was discovered in someone affiliated with the Hanover County school.

"This case has been contained, and there is no known risk of ongoing TB transmission in Atlee High School," Dr. Thomas Franck, Chickahominy Health District Director, wrote in a letter to parents. "After we complete our assessment, we will offer free evaluation and testing to those we believe may have been exposed."

The school system called an informational meeting to discuss the situation.

That meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 5, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the Atlee High School auditorium.

"We want to reassure you that we believe the risk of TB transmission is low in this instance," Dr. Franck continued. "In the meantime, if you have any questions about TB or our plan for testing, you may contact the Hanover Health Department at 804-365-4313 between 8 a.m. & 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak with Nancy Davis, RN, or Joanna Cirillo, RN."

The Hanover Health Department provided the following TB facts:

TB is an airborne communicable disease caused by bacteria that are released into the air when a person with active TB disease coughs, speaks, laughs, sneezes, or sings.

TB is difficult to transmit to another person. It does not thrive outside of the body once it makes contact with a surface. For instance, TB cannot be contracted from someone’s clothes,
drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces.

Persons can become infected with TB if they spend a lot of time with a person who has active TB disease.

TB infection alone does not make people sick or contagious, and persons with TB infection do not necessarily have TB disease. Having TB infection means that TB disease could develop in the future.

Some typical symptoms of active TB disease are: persistent cough (>3 weeks), fever, night sweats, weight loss, decreased appetite, and fatigue.

Both TB disease and TB infection can be treated with medication.

More information is available here.

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