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Shaw University confirms student tested positive for tuberculosis

Posted May 3, 2013

— 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.

9 Comments

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  • DaddysAngel27 May 9, 2013

    It would be nice to know if this person is symptomatic!

  • DaddysAngel27 May 7, 2013

    Student Nurse: I agree with you and my cousin is a nurse. But, I am starting to believe that this person may have been tested because they had symptoms and if that is so then they need to let the public know the truth.

  • Student Nurse May 7, 2013

    seriously, how is this news? We get tested every year in nursing school and every year one or two students come up with positive test results....we have clinical in the hospitals after all...but no one freaks out and calls WRAL to whine that no one was notified.

  • djofraleigh May 6, 2013

    I've tested positive since childhood as per the forearm needle yet do not have active TB. 3% of people do, and of that 3% a smaller percentage ever get active TB, I was told 60 years ago.

    I wonder if the 'test' was really a diagnosis of TB?

  • carrboroyouth May 6, 2013

    "The news of the test spread quickly through campus by word of mouth..."

    is this a subtle pun? Wowwww.

  • ms b May 3, 2013

    Presumably this young man was out in public to some extent, especially since he lives off campus. Since TB can be spread by merely speaking, it might be nice to know some of the places he had been.

  • Obamacare survives May 3, 2013

    TB is making a comeback.

    Until the mid-20th century a leading cause of death in the developed world, TB remains a scourge in many developing countries. And new drug-resistant strains have caused its reemergence as a health threat even in regions where until recently medical treatment had kept the disease at bay.

  • Phyxius1 May 3, 2013

    Whats with all the measles cases lately and now a TB case? They used to be a rare occurrence int his day. Hope the student recovers fully from this.

  • anneonymousone May 3, 2013

    It is my hope (for this young man and for those who know him and hae interacted with him) that he was diagnosed early on in the progression of tuberculosis.

    Thanks, WRAL, for providing the CDC information on how TB is and is not spread. That's very wise.