Denton ISD Tests Hundreds of Students for TB Exposure

Testing comes after student was hospitalized with a suspected case of TB

By Sara Story
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:50 AM CDT
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The <a title=Denton County Health Department has skin-tested hundreds of kids after one student tested positive for tuberculosis." />

Sara Story

The Denton County Health Department has skin-tested hundreds of kids after one student tested positive for tuberculosis.

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The Denton school district tested more than 200 students for exposure to tuberculosis on Tuesday.

The testing comes after a Denton High School student was hospitalized with a suspected case of the bacterial infection. The students tested included those who had class or rode the bus with the student with the suspected case.

"We will be identifying the individuals that test positive and working with them -- probably chest X-rays and put them on the medications as needed," said Dr. Bing Burton, Denton County Health Department director.

The county health department required all students who were tested to have a signed permission form from their parents.

Richard Howard made a special trip to the high school today to drop off the release form so his son could be tested.

"As a parent, you are always very worried about the health of your children," he said. "That is something that every parent has to deal with."

Burton said this is not the first time the county has conducted tuberculosis skin tests in large proportions.

"I know we had a case at UNT several years ago where there was a good bit of testing," he said.

Health officials and the school district are on high alert because the student with the suspected case transferred to Denton High from Ennis High School.

Hundreds of students at Ennis High School have tested positive for exposure to the tuberculosis. Testing there began after a teacher was diagnosed with an active case of the infection in August.

Parents and students must wait until Thursday to see the results of Tuesday's testing.

"It is definitely going to be an antsy 48 hours, but we are praying and keeping our fingers crossed," Howard said.

The health department will be back at Denton High School in eight to 10 weeks to skin test students for a second time in case any new cases of tuberculosis develop.

If you have questions or concerns about tuberculosis, email them to newstips@nbcdfw.com. To see the questions we have already answered, click here to read "What to Know About Tuberculosis."


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