LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – It has been nearly two weeks since the Southern Nevada Health District launched an investigation into a tuberculosis exposure at more than a dozen Clark County schools.
The health district now plans to provide testing in late January for more than 600 people exposed to the infected person who visited 26 campuses over the past year. That person has since isolated and began receiving treatment for the infectious disease. The large-scale testing will be done at Ruthe Deskin Elementary School, where officials issued a broad exposure notification.
“There is no exposure happening at this time, we have identified the end of any exposures, and so there should be no fear of anyone being exposed at this time,” Jennifer Bowers, a disease investigator with SNHD.
TB is an infectious disease that can affect your lungs of other tissues. The health district sees about 40-60 cases of TB disease every year.
Typical symptoms include:
- a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- pain in the chest
- coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
- weakness or fatigue
- weight loss
- no appetite
- sweating at night
Bowers says the disease does not spread like COVID.
“You have to have close repeated contact with the person who has active disease which is coughing symptomatic, and so contacts are not contagious, they are not active disease, you are more likely to get the flu, or RSV, or something else that is going around in our community right now,” she said.
And that students are safe to return to school next week.
“Your children are safe, we have done everything we can to stop the spread, so the person who was sick, was isolated, we have identified that last date of exposure, we have notified all of those contacts,” she added.
The disease, which can be deadly, is curable and can be treated with antibiotics.
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