Madera Student Diagnosed With T.B.

April 5, 2008 2:04:54 PM PDT
About 100 students and staff at Madera South High School will undergo testing for tuberculosis next week. Madera county health officials say the testing is only being done as a precaution after a student was diagnosed with the disease.Letters were sent home with Madera South High School students Thursday. Rosemary Padilla's son brought one home. "It said he was exposed to TB, to go the health department and get a skin test," Padilla said.

The Madera County Health Department will be testing about 100 students and faculty members who came in direct contact with the infected student next week. "If you were not notified by either Madera County Health or Madera South High School there's no reason to be concerned," said Jake Bragonier, a spokesperson for the Madera Unified School District.

Tuberculosis is a disease that attacks the lungs and is spread through the air. "TB is transmitted when someone coughs or exhales. The germ comes generally from the lung into the air and someone else breathes it in," said Carol Barney with the Madera County Public Health Department.

A simple skin test can determine whether someone is infected with TB and the disease can be treated with antibiotics. Rosemary Padilla's son attended class with the infected student, but as a Madera County Health Department employee, she feels there's no reason to panic. "I feel very comfortable. I know the signs, the symptoms. Not only that, there's medication," said Padilla.

Symptoms of TB include a persistent cough, weight loss, and night sweats. The Madera County Health Department offers free TB skin tests every Tuesday afternoon from 2 to 4-30.


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