Denton Students to Undergo TB Testing

By Amanda Guerra
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:50 AM CDT
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Close to 200 students at <a title=Denton High School will undergo testing for exposure to tuberculosis after a student was diagnosed with a suspect case of the infection." />

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

Close to 200 students at Denton High School will undergo testing for exposure to tuberculosis after a student was diagnosed with a suspect case of the infection.

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Denton High School will begin testing students for exposure to tuberculosis on Tuesday.

County health officials say a current student has a suspected case of the bacterial infection.

The school will test close to 200 students who've had close contact with the student in the past few weeks.

The student transferred to Denton High School from Ennis High School, which has experienced a tuberculosis outbreak.

Parent Lakreshia Flemings said she has been keeping an eye on her daughter, who had several classes with the student who has the suspected case of tuberculosis.

"She's nervous," Flemings said. "She actually called me at work letting me know what [tuberculosis] is, what the symptoms are and, of course, she immediately thought she had it."

More than 200 students at Ennis High have tested positive for exposure to the disease after a teacher was diagnosed with tuberculosis in August.

Another person in Ellis County has since been diagnosed with an active case of tuberculosis.

Denton High parents said the numbers in Ellis County concern them.

"They should be concerned, because as I said, it's airborne," said Janette Maxwell, a concerned parent and nurse.

"Anytime you have a lot of children, be it college students, day cares -- things are easily spread," she said.

The Denton County Health Department said it will begin the testing with the students who've been in close contact with the student who has the suspected case.

Flemings said her entire family could be at risk if her daughter was exposed.

"I'm hoping she's negative," she said. "I know it can stay dormant for a long time. I just hope she doesn't have it."

Those who have latent tuberculosis are not infectious and cannot spread the bacteria to others.

People are only at risk for contracting tuberculosis if they are in close proximity to a person with an active case for a prolonged period of time -- 40 to 80 hours over the course of several weeks.

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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