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Tuberculosis Threat Rocks Fayetteville School

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FAYETTEVILLE — By noon Wednesday, tuberculosis testresults had been read for about half the students at Reid Ross MiddleSchool. The students, faculty and staff at the Fayetteville school weretested by the Cumberland County Health Department Monday and Tuesday afterone student came down with the contagious disease.

Principal Terry Brown confirmed that five of the people who wereevaluated Wednesday had positive test results.

A positive test result only means that the person tested has beenexposedto tuberculosis. Those who test positive will be givenchest X-rays, further testing, and medication. It can take several monthsto test positive after exposure to the disease, so everyone at the schoolwill be tested again in about three months, according to health departmentofficials.

Some parents were upset that they weren't notifiedbefore the tests were administered.

A letter from the county health director went home with each studentMonday. Principal Brown says that was both within the law and appropriate,given the circumstances.

Health officials say they expected that about 5 percent of those tested would be rated positive, which would be in line with the generalpopulation.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, coughing,appetite loss and night sweats.