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Tuberculosis case identified at San Ysidro High School

Sweetwater Union High School District headquarters in Chula Vista on Aug. 3, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
Sweetwater Union High School District headquarters in Chula Vista on Aug. 3, 2020.

A person at San Ysidro High School has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and may have exposed students and school staff, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.

The dates of exposure were from Jan. 11 to March 18 of this year. HHSA is working with San Ysidro High School officials to notify those who were potentially exposed.

Meanwhile, the county's TB Control Program is testing, at no-cost, all identified students and staff members.


"Testing is recommended for people who were exposed to assure they are not infected, since initial infection usually has no symptoms," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "For any infected individuals, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can prevent the infectious form of the disease."

A negative test result usually indicates that the person is not infected with the TB bacteria. However, it may take eight to 10 weeks after exposure for a test to be positive, officials said. San Ysidro High School students and staff who were exposed to the infected individual and receive a negative test result from their first TB test in April, will require a follow- up test next month.

Tuberculosis is transmitted from person to person through indoor air during prolonged contact with an infected person. Most people who are exposed do not become infected.

Symptoms of infectious tuberculosis include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. People with symptoms of TB, or who are immune-compromised and may not show obvious symptoms, should consult their medical provider. Tuberculosis can be cured with an extended course of specific antibiotics.

According to the HHSA, tuberculosis is not uncommon in the San Diego region and, although decreasing since the early 1990s, case counts have stabilized in recent years. In 2021, 201 cases were reported in San Diego County. To date, 23 cases of tuberculosis have been reported in 2022.

Corrected: April 20, 2022 at 9:41 AM PDT
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story featured a photo of the San Ysidro School District. San Ysidro High School is part of the Sweetwater Union High School District, not the San Ysidro School District. The photo has been updated to reflect that.