Today, Sacramento County, in collaboration with Elk Grove Unified School District, completed TB skin tests for 155 students and staff at Florin High School. This was done as part of a continuing investigation following the diagnosis of a student with active TB disease.
Of those screened, 16 tested positive for exposure to TB. They will be further evaluated with chest x-rays and offered preventative treatment. Students who have a positive skin test but do not display symptoms will not be excluded from school. A second round of testing will be conducted in 8-10 weeks for those who tested negative. This is a required step because in some people, it may take that long for the body to develop a response to the test.
It is important for the public to understand that the latent form of TB is not infectious. It is, however, necessary to provide preventative treatment to stop progression to active disease. Only those with active TB may be infectious and can exhibit symptoms such as cough and fever.
DHHS is offering treatment to all who tested positive and will use a new regimen that consists of taking medicine once a week, for 12 weeks. It does require direct-observed-therapy (someone from Public Health must be present to watch the person take the medicine) but is an excellent alternative to the other treatment regimen that requires daily medication for nine months.
"With these results, we don't see a lot of evidence of transmission," says Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. "Those who tested positive will be further evaluated and we will continue to work closely with the school to schedule re-testing in 8-10 weeks for those who tested negative."
If parents have any concerns or questions, they may call Florin High School at (916) 689-8600.
For questions concerning Tuberculosis, please call (916) 875-5881.