Starting next Tuesday the Douglas County Health Department will be testing 12 staff members and 193 students at Benson High School for tuberculosis. Health Director Dr. Adi Pour they were informed that one student attending the school was diagnosed with the illness less than two weeks ago. She says they have been working with the school and the district to identify who the student may have been in contact with.
Dr. Pour says, “All at risk students will be tested and evaluated. At this time we are only recommending that students and faculty that are in the same classes with the ill student will be tested. We do not recommend testing of all students in the school.”
Dr. Pour says TB is transmitted through the air and individuals would need prolonged and repeated exposure to contract the illness. The ill student will not be allowed to return to school until he or she is no longer contagious. Treatment for TB can take weeks or months and Dr. Pour says they are monitoring the student’s progress. Symptoms include fever, weakness, night sweat, coughing that can continue for several weeks and produce blood. Those symptoms can last several weeks or longer. The Health Department is closely monitoring this situation.