Public health officials will be at a northern Iowa high school before Christmas break to test students, staff and others who may have had close contact with a student who’s been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Administrators at Hampton-Dumont High School sent an alert to parents and guardians on Monday afternoon that a student at the high school had been diagnosed with the diesease.The school district’s nurse is working with officials from the state, Franklin County and the local hospital to come up with a final list of people who will be notified that they should be tested.
Jenni Swart is Hampton-Dumont’s school nurse. “TB can get quite complicated as in the length of time we could have it in our body and we would actually develop it, but we can identify it and treat it,” she says. “There is a state program and the testing is free as well as the treatment is free.”
Swart says it’s hard to say how the student contracted TB. “It’s transmitted with close contact with coughing, sneezing, talking with the person that’s actually diagnosed with that.”
Hampton-Dumont Superintendent Todd Lettow says the district’s website is being updated to keep the community informed.
“We just want to have a central place where everybody can go and get the same information,” he says.
Symptoms of active TB include coughing that lasts three or more weeks, a fever and unintentional weight loss.
(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)