A student was removed from Fannin Middle School on March 26th after being diagnosed with a case of active TB. Approximately 200 people who were considered to have spent prolonged time around the young girl were tested for Tuberculosis in their systems. Today, public health officals announced that 37 of that 250 tested positive for the TB bacteria.
On April 7, after the first round of testing was done, 13 tests came back postive. However, all of those cases were latent, meaning not contagious and showing no signs of symptoms. But, after the tests done on May 22nd, 24 tests came back positive and are currently being evaluated. Now the city's Department of Public Health has decided to expand their testing to the entire school, including all faculty, students and staff.
Public Health and school officials held a meeting today at the school to answer questions and address concerns of the parents. Some parents came out of that meeting angry and frustrated, while others were content with the information that had been provided.
"Honestly, I feel like they have it pretty much under control. I mean, they're doing the best they can do," said Sarah Casas, a parent of a student at Fannin. "I just wanted to come and find out when they would be doing the testing, but I don't think there is any chance of my son getting it. And they said that even with the people that tested positive, their TB isn't active and they were already given prescriptsions for the next nine months to keep that TB from becoming active."
Sherry Carter, whose daughter had tested postive for tuberculosis yesterday, said she did not see a reason to worry yet, but that when she had heard the news, she cried.
"My daughter actually tested positive and we are very wooried but we are not going to get too excited until it's time to get excited. She's having a chest x-ray tomorrow and seeing a doctor. It's not the school's fault that this happened. They are just taking of it appropriately and we just want to make sure that she is taken care of," said Carter.
X-rays were performed today on many of the students who tested positive for TB exposure, however, there are still no cases of active tuberculosis. Those who did test positive for the bacteria have been prescribed a nine-month preventative treatment that takes the chances of the TB within their system becoming active down to one percent.