According to a report from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), an individual at Mt. Carmel High School was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and may have exposed staff and students to the disease.
The HHSA says the period of exposure would've been from Jan. 3 to Mar. 6.
Symptoms of active TB include persistent coughing, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease but when it does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication.
That’s why it’s important to identify those who have been exposed, and the HHSA is working closely with the Poway Unified School District to notify those who could've been exposed to TB on campus.
“TB spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Typically, only people who have had close, extended contact with the infected person run the risk of contracting the disease.”
Still, the high school isn't taking any chances and is urging staff and students to get tested for TB as soon as possible.
No-cost testing will be held at Mt. Carmel High School on Mar. 27, at 9550 Carmel Mountain Road in Rancho Peñasquitos. Another round of follow-up testing is scheduled for May 8 at the school.
People who'd like more information about the TB incident can contact the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621. If Mt. Carmel High School parents have further questions, they can reach out to Sharon Raffer, Poway Unified School District Director of Communications, at (858) 521-2707.