Tuberculosis Case No Cause For Concern, Say Maryland Health Officials | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Tuberculosis Case No Cause For Concern, Say Maryland Health Officials

Play associated audio

Maryland state health officials say the danger posed by the discovery of a case of tuberculosis at one Montgomery County high school is not as critical as some might think.

A letter sent late last week to parents of students attending Watkins Mill High School confirmed an unidentified student carrying the disease is being treated and there is no risk of additional exposure to staff or students.

Cindy Edwards, senior nursing administrator for Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services admits that tuberculosis is a highly contagious disease. Unlike an outbreak among small groups of people such as family units, however, health professionals consider this a low risk event.

"When we look at schools and the fact that this person is in the same class as someone, it's a low risk, but to be on the safe side, we go in and do some testing to make sure no one else has gotten the disease," Edwards says.

Health officials point out that occasional outbreaks in the region are not uncommon due to the number of residents and visitors who travel to the area from countries with a high rate of tuberculosis. In 2012, the Maryland State Department of Health recorded more than 220 cases of tuberculosis — 85 in Montgomery County. 

Henry Rosemont, whose daughter attends Watkins Mill, says he's not alarmed.

"I'm not really worried about it," Rosemont says. "I'm originally from the Caribbean, so I know what is going on when people suffer this."

State and school health officials say they plan to begin testing staff and students for tuberculosis in late March.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher. That's almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former Homeland Security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.