Shaw University confirms student tested positive for tuberculosis
Posted May 3, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Shaw University said Friday that a male student who lives off campus has tested positive for tuberculosis, and others who were in contact with him are being tested.
The student's name and condition were not released. School officials said they learned of his diagnosis Monday, and Wake County Human Services nurses were on campus Tuesday to test those who may have been exposed.
Officials said a positive test is confirmation of exposure to tuberculosis, but does not determine whether the person has symptoms.
The news of the test spread quickly through campus by word of mouth, and several students said Friday that they were upset the school did not send out a general notification.
"You would assume they would be informative towards us," student Willie Crawford said. "But they didn't tell us anything."
Sue Lynn Ledford, division director for Wake County Public Health, said students need not worry because everyone with potential exposure has been contacted.
Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs and, if not treated properly, can be fatal. The disease is spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats or kissing, according to the CDC's website.
Symptoms include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.