Local News

Durham child has TB

Posted September 10, 2009

A student at Durham's Northern High School, 117 Tom Wilkinson Road, has been diagnosed with probable active tuberculosis (TB), the school district said Thursday.

TB can be spread through the air when someone who is sick coughs, speaks, laughs, sings or sneezes. People can come in contact germs and not develop an active illness.

School staff and fellow students who may have been exposed have been contacted by the Durham County Health Department. They will be tested for the disease next week, and again eight weeks later.

Symptoms of TB include a cough that lasts three weeks or longer, fever, night sweats and weight loss. Evaluation for active or latent TB can involve a skin or blood test, review of symptoms and chest x-ray. TB is treated with a variety of drugs over a course of six to 12 months.


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  • headlong Sep 11, 2009

    I just looked at my Childrens Immunization Records...There is no shot for TB...

    and the extra shots given to my Son which are not listed are written in blank spaces provided on the back.

  • 6079 SMITH W Sep 11, 2009

    This is only one of the many benefits of having open borders. We can add this to the ever growing list of advantages of allowing people into OUR country with no regard for us, our laws, or our way of life. A culture war is coming soon! Has anyone seen what is happening to small towns all over the nation? Drive through angier- it's beyond belief. People who are not even supposed to be in the U.S. have opened businesses on the main drag without so much as a whimper from the so called "government". Don't think this is lost on the invaders either. They are quite aware that if they can make it to N.C. it's home free {no border patrol here in carolina del norte} and no one is going to lift a finger. Just have that anchor child and you'll be all set. This is NOT a racist rant from some pinheaded redneck either, so don't even try it. I have lived here for almost 50 years and cannot believe what I see happening. Health care for these people is the least of our worries.........

  • ThinkChick Sep 11, 2009

    Professor - perhaps you would exhibit more concern and want to have some tough questions answered if you or your child were exposed.

    CDC info here: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    May the child gets the help he/she needs without all the judgement. It could have been YOUR child.

  • scarletindurham Sep 11, 2009

    Usually cases of TB in the USA are due to suppressed immune systems (like people with HIV). It is possible the teen had a pre-existing illness.

  • Caroline Marie Sep 11, 2009

    The vaccine is not very effective and can cause false positives and negatives. It's not reliable enough nor needed enough to give it to school aged children in a country like the USA where TB is just not that prevalent and can be treated. Once a person has a positive TB test, they are sent for a chest xray. If the xray looks positive, they then have to vie sputum samples (yeah, coughed up) and check for acid fast bacillus. If the person is positive, they are treated and may be quarantined for a certain amount of time until they are no longer contagious. If a person refuses to take the medications, they can be admitted by a judge to facility that takes TB patients and the person has to take the medication. I have seen very few people in the past 25 years that actually have TB but the majority I have seen come from the less developed countries and most of what I have seen have been of hispanic origin. Trying to be politically correct but I have to all them like I see them.

  • anonemoose Sep 11, 2009

    edith, a vast majority of the TB comes in the US either come from illegals, or people who have been in close contact with two or three.

  • mpheels Sep 11, 2009

    There is a vaccine for TB, but it is not widely used in the US b/c TB is very rare here and the vaccine isn't effective enough in adolescents/adults to justify wide use of it in a population with low rates of infection.

  • FromClayton Sep 11, 2009

    edith - i do not think there is a vaccine for tb. otherwise they would not test the healthcare workers every year. they would just give them the vaccine and be done with it. Can someone confirm?

  • webegb-Is in a happy place Sep 11, 2009

    When I applied to become a legal resident of the US one of the things I had to do was have a medical examination. One of the tests was for T.B. Makes you wonder.