Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
A former student at Tarrant County College's Southeast Campus in Arlington tested positive for active tuberculosis, now the school is going to test other students who may have been exposed to the infectious disease.
The Tarrant County Health Department says a former Tarrant County College student has tested positive for tuberculosis.
The former student, whose identity is being withheld, lives in Dallas County and attended the TCC campus in southeast Arlington near the Dallas County/Tarrant County line.
Tuberculosis is an airborne bacterial infection, but exposure to the bacteria doesn't mean a person will contract TB. People are only at risk for contracting the infection 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. Casual contact such as a conversation, sports or a car ride should not lead to infection. Learn more about TB here.
"It is close contact. So the closer the contact the more likely there could be a contagion. People that were sitting far away or people that just happened to pass in the hall, or just on campus, are really unlikely to contract tuberculosis," said Dr. Woody Kageler, with TCC.
The health department is working with the college and have already identified approximately 200 students and faculty who may have come in contact with the former student.
Students and faculty can find out more about TB and TB testing at a Q&A session at the college on March 27.
Skin testing will be done on April 3 with results being distributed on April 5. The delay between notice and testing is to allow for the bacteria to incubate in those that were exposed.
NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.