Local News

Fayetteville student tests negative for TB

Posted June 5, 2009 3:40 p.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2009 4:04 p.m. EDT

— One of the three children hospitalized with a suspected case of tuberculosis has tested negative for the illness and was expected to go home Friday, public health officials said.

Two other students of Fayetteville’s Highland Learning Center will remain under observation until Saturday, hospital spokesman Clinton Weaver said.

Cumberland County health officials administered tests to at least 140 children and staff members from the center after a substitute teacher there tested positive for tuberculosis.

Three students had abnormal chest X-rays and were taken to Cape Fear Valley Hospital for further tests.

The children were placed in negative-pressure rooms to reduce the possible spread of infection, and they were undergoing a procedure called gastric washing in which a tube is placed in the stomach daily for three days.

Although none of the children or staff members has displayed any symptoms of TB, Cumberland County Health Director Dr. Lan Tran-Phu said officials aren't taking any chances.

Medication has been prescribed for every child at the center as a precaution, and a nurse will administer the medicine over the next eight weeks. Parents can opt out of the treatment schedule.

Officials will test the children and staff members again in eight weeks.