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11 positive for TB bacteria at Glenn Hills High

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 8:58 PM
Last updated Friday, Sept. 27, 2013 12:25 AM
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Eleven people at Glenn Hills High School have tested positive for tuberculosis bacteria out of 119 students and faculty tested this week, according to Richmond County Health Department spokesman Emmitt L. Walker.

Those people will be further examined to determine whether treatment is necessary, Walker said.

After a Glenn Hills student showed signs of the disease this month, the student’s doctor alerted the school as a precaution. The Health Department administered skin tests to all students and staff who had direct contact with the student.

The initial exam for the disease involves injecting a liquid into the dermal layer of the skin that must be checked 48 hours later for raised bumps.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis is a disease that attacks the lungs and is spread by talking, sneezing and coughing.

In 90 percent of patients who contract tuberculosis bacteria, the body fights it off before it turns into the disease.

People with the disease can be treated with a series of drugs, according to CDC.

Last year, 578 people at Butler High School were tested for tuberculosis after a student showed signs of the disease. Of those, 136 tested positive for the bacteria, and three later were confirmed to have the disease.

Walker said the health department will continue testing those identified by Glenn Hills administration who had direct contact with the initial student.

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