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2 more develop TB symptoms at Butler High

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As many as 75 students and staff members at Butler High School were exposed to tuberculosis, and two more are showing symptoms of the disease, officials said at a news conference Wednesday.

The announcement brings to three the number of people being treated for the disease since a student developed symptoms last month. All three are out of school receiving treatment and further testing and won’t return until they are cleared, according to Ketty Gonzalez, the district director for the East Central Health District.

The health department tested 500 individuals who were possibly exposed after the first confirmed case. Of the 500, 75 tested positive for TB bacteria, including several who were in close proximity to the first student, she said.

However, a positive test for TB bacteria is no indication an individual will develop the disease, or when the infection took place. In Richmond County, about 15 percent of the population tests positive for TB bacteria, but 90 percent of those who test positive never develop the disease.

The once-common disease is rare now. There were only six active cases in 2010 and five in 2011 in Richmond County, Gonzalez said.

Fifty of the 500 tested never returned for their test to be read, but they are advised to do so, she said.

Carol Rountree, the executive director of student services for the Richmond County Board of Education, praised collaboration between the health department and school system to address the health issue. Parents and students shouldn’t worry, but staff will continue to be available to answer any questions, she said.

“We’ve been assured that this is not outside the norm, and there’s no reason for us to be distressed,” she said.

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F4therTime 11/14/12 - 03:35 pm
I would be scared...

The once-common disease is very rare now. Across Richmond County, there were only six active cases in 2010 and five in 2011, Gonzalez said. You have 3 confirmed cases in one school. That's more than half of what you had in a year in the entire county last year. How many people did those 3 come in contact with? This is how epidemics start.

OpenCurtain 11/14/12 - 06:22 pm
What TB Strain are they finding ?

The Typically treatable TB , or the version immune
to many commonly used antibiotics?

imwatching 11/14/12 - 07:10 pm
Movement of Students

RCBOE should invoke a minimum movement of students from the affected school to other schools throughout the county. Without some form of restriction RCBOE runs the risk (although minimal) of helping to spread this disease to other schools. Until the RCBOE and RC Heath Dept. gets the results back from ALL students involved, movement should be limited.

soapy_725 11/15/12 - 10:33 am
EMS and the ARC Health Dept

issued a statement that the public has nothing to fear. Jessica Dill is smiling, so it must be true. Nothing to fear but fear itself. When do you remember an epidemic? Polio? Lines of citizens with babes in arms everywhere. Schools, hospitals, churches, etc.

Government cannot handle public panic. They do in fact fear this phenomenon. Lie and misrepresent the truth until it is out of control. Look at New Orleans, Look at New Jersey. All of the EMS three inch three ring binder emergency plans don't work when you hide the truth. They do work fine when you have "pretend emergencies". Two inches of ice or snow and the world in the CSRA comes to a halt.

soapy_725 11/15/12 - 10:40 am
Where is the correct information?

They do not know because they tried to hide what they do not understand. Keep it under wraps. There are several types of TB.

One, you have a positive test to TB, but you cannot spread the disease because your body has isolated the TB.

Another is active TB that gives a positive test. This type can be spread by airborne particulate from coughing and sneezing. This is the pending epidemic.

Take heart, ARC. You know you can trust your local government resources to take care of you and your family.

Get out. Get out. While you can. The sky is not falling, but your quality of life is in peril. Whatever equity you have in your house, land or business is diminishing by the hour. Get out of the ARC. This time the message is "Get out of the ARC".

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