North Texas

Two Tuberculosis Cases Confirmed in Coppell, Mesquite Schools

Two Dallas County students are undergoing treatment for tuberculosis, a contagious airborne disease that primarily affects the lungs.

The students, one of whom is an 8th grader at Coppell Middle School North and another who attends North Mesquite High School, were diagnosed last week. Both of the students are undergoing treatment and have not been quarantined.

Officials with the Mesquite ISD said they were notified of the infected student last week and that they identified 175 students who may have been in direct contact with the infected student. All of those students will be tested for TB on April 8. The district also said the entire campus has been thoroughly disinfected.

In Coppell, school officials said they identified students that may have been in direct contact with the infected student and that they notified those students and their families of the possible exposure. Coppell officials did not say how many students they identified as being at risk.

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TB Letter (Text)

Though both school districts directly notified any students who may have been exposed to the disease, the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department is offering free TB tests for anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to the bacteria.

Though it is airborne, a person must be in close proximity to the infected person for lengthy period of time to contract the disease.

Last year, the Dallas County Health Department said it had 157 reported cases.

“It’s not uncommon and in other parts of the world it’s very common, so sometimes people think, ‘Oh we’ve eliminated TB’ and that’s not the case at all," said Director Dr. Philip Huang.

Not everyone infected with TB becomes sick, though it's recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that even those with latent TB infection be treated so that the infection does not become active.

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