Local News

Tuberculosis Threat Rocks Fayetteville School

Posted January 28, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— By noon Wednesday, tuberculosis test results had been read for about half the students at Reid Ross Middle School. The students, faculty and staff at the Fayetteville school were tested by the Cumberland County Health Department Monday and Tuesday after one student came down with the contagious disease.

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

A positive test result only means that the person tested has been exposedto tuberculosis. Those who test positive will be given chest X-rays, further testing, and medication. It can take several months to test positive after exposure to the disease, so everyone at the school will be tested again in about three months, according to health department officials.

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

A letter from the county health director went home with each student Monday. 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 general population.

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