Tuberculosis case identified at San Ysidro high school

Microscopic image of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control.

A person at San Ysidro High School has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and may have exposed students and school staff, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.

The exhibition dates were from January 11 to March 18 this year. HHSA is working with San Ysidro High School officials to notify those who have been potentially exposed.

Meanwhile, the county’s TB program is testing all identified students and staff, free of charge.

“Testing is recommended for people who have been exposed to make sure they are not infected, as the initial infection usually has no symptoms,” said health officer Dr. Wilma J. Wooten county public. “For anyone infected, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease.”

A negative test result usually indicates that the person is not infected with tuberculosis bacteria. However, it can take eight to 10 weeks after exposure for a test to come back positive, officials said. Students and staff at San Ysidro High School who were exposed to the infected person and who test negative on their first TB test in April, will need a follow-up test next month.

Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infected person. Most people exposed are not infected.

Symptoms of infectious tuberculosis include a persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss. People with symptoms of tuberculosis or who are immunocompromised and may not have obvious symptoms should see their doctor. Tuberculosis can be cured with prolonged treatment with specific antibiotics.

According to the HHSA, tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego area, and although declining since the early 1990s, the number of cases has leveled off in recent years. In 2021, 201 cases were reported in San Diego County. To date, 23 cases of tuberculosis have been notified in 2022.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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