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Person Tests Positive For Tuberculosis At Imperial Beach Elementary School

An unidentified person at Central Elementary School in Imperial Beach tested positive for tuberculosis and may have exposed others to the disease for more than one month, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported today.

The time period for potential exposure was March 17 to April 23, according to the HHSA.

Information on the potential exposures is available by calling the school at (619) 628-5000 or the county TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

"Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease, but when it does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication -- that's why it's important to identify those who have been exposed."

Free testing for students who may have been exposed is scheduled for tomorrow at the school, 1290 Ebony Ave.

Tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing in recent years, according to the HHSA.

To date, 59 cases have been reported this year in San Diego County.

Last year, 206 cases were reported in the county, the lowest number since local TB cases peaked at 469 in 1993, according to the health agency.

There were 234 cases in 2012.

Comments

Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | May 12, 2014 at 4:36 p.m. ― 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What? Thought kids could not enter school without proper shots. If a child cannot prove shots received, remove them. Children of responsible parents should not be subjected to this.

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Avatar for user 'Baltushka'

Baltushka | May 14, 2014 at 7:54 a.m. ― 5 months, 1 week ago

There is no "shot" that prevents TB. The only current preventative treatment is BCG vaccine which is not recommended for routine use in the US - you can read about it's limited efficacy and recommended use here: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/prevention/bcg.htm

Staff at public schools as well as hospitals are tested for TB exposure annually - this is different from testing for active disease (which is diagnosed with symptoms, chest X-ray and sputum testing) which is only done in those who are known to have prior exposure.

I agree that children and staff should be required to be vaccinated for preventable illnesses that *do* have effective and safe vaccines such as Measles and whooping cough before enrolling/working in public schools. However, parents are still legally allowed to opt-out of these vaccines and let their children "free-ride" on the low-risk of infection posed by their vaccinated peers.

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