Confirmed case of TB reported (Wednesday, July 29, 2009)
Follow-up on confirmed case of TB (Tuesday, August 18, 2009)
MANHATTAN -- Health officials have confirmed that a Kansas State University student has been identified and diagnosed with infectious pulmonary -- lung -- Tuberculosis Disease. The student is responding to treatment and a full recovery is expected.
K-State officials are working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and involved health departments to identify and evaluate individuals who may have had significant close contact with this student.
"K-State officials are fully cooperating with public health efforts and following best practice guidelines to effectively address this investigation," said Phil Griffin, TB Controller at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
"A contact investigation has already begun," said Dr. Robert Tackett, medical director of Lafene Student Health Center. "People who need to be evaluated will be contacted by local health officials. Recommended testing will be free of charge and consists of a skin test on the arm. In addition, some evaluations include blood tests, chest X-rays and/or sputum collections."
TB is spread through the air by coughing, laughing, singing and sneezing. The only way to develop a tuberculosis infection is by prolonged close contact: several hours a day over several days, in a small confined area and in very close proximity to a person who has active disease, Tackett said. TB cannot be spread by contact with someone's clothing, or eating utensils. Only 5-10 percent of people who are infected with TB and have a normal immune system will ever develop TB disease in their lifetime, Tackett said. Of those who develop disease, it develops at the earliest, months after exposure. However, people with HIV infection or other disorders of the immune system are at much greater risk of developing disease: a 5-10 percent chance per year.
Symptoms of TB Disease include a cough that persists longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, chills, fever, coughing up blood, fatigue, and/or blood in the urine. TB can be treated and cured with appropriate medications.
MANHATTAN -- Health officials at Kansas State University have contacted and are testing close acquaintances of a student recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis.
"Only those who have had extended close contact in confined spaces while the student was infectious are considered at risk for exposure," said Dr. Robert Tackett, medical director of K-State's Lafene Health Center. "Transmission of tuberculosis from person to person in the general population in the United States is rare."
People who have not been contacted need not worry about having been exposed, he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, tuberculosis is spread through the air by coughing, laughing, singing and sneezing. The only way to develop an infection is through prolonged close contact: several hours a day over several days, in a small confined area and in very close proximity to a person who has active disease, Tackett said. Tuberculosis cannot be spread by contact with someone's clothing or eating utensils. Only 5 percent to 10 percent of people who are infected with tuberculosis and have normal immune systems will ever develop tuberculosis disease in their lifetime. In those who develop disease, it happens several months to years after exposure.
The student with tuberculosis disease is doing well and will recover fully. K-State health officials are working with the Riley County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health And Environment to closely monitor the situation.
For more information regarding tuberculosis, go to: www.cdc.gov/tb