(Posted 10/13/11) Commack High School has notified parents that there was a case of active tuberculosis documented in the High School. The Health Department is involved and the parents of any children who are felt to be at increased risk have been notified under separate cover with further instructions. We do not know any specific details of the case, but the health department has said that the person with tuberculosis is no longer at the school and has not been there recently.
If you have not received the second letter then your child did not have significant exposure and nothing needs to be done.
If you received the letter saying that your child was potentially exposed, the best thing to do is to allow the Health Dept nurses, who will be at the school on Monday Oct 17, to place a PPD test on your child's arm. A PPD, also known as a Mantoux test involves injecting a small amount of liquid under the child's skin to see if there is a significant reaction. The health dept nurses will return on Wednesday Oct 19 to check the test. For most children a negative PPD will be the end of it. For some children who were potentially exposed less than 6-8 weeks ago, the Health Dept will recommend a second PPD be placed in December. A positive PPD means your child was exposed to tuberculosis, and should be evaluated further. That child most likely does not have active tuberculosis, but may need medication.
Your doctor can perform the PPD for your child, but will need to check the results two days after the PPD is placed and notify the Health Department of the results.
There is no reason to keep your child home from school.
You can only get infected with TB by directly breathing in TB germs that a person with TB coughs into the air. You cannot get TB from someone's clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces. You can not get TB by being near someone who was exposed to someone who has TB. If your child has been exposed, the risk of transmission of TB from casual contact is low. In addition, TB has no symptoms in the early stages, so there is plenty of time for diagnosis and treatment.
Please do not worry if your child is coughing.
People in the early stage of TB exposure do not have symptoms.
And everyone seems to be
coughing this time of year. (Of course, any child who has been coughing for
more than one week, or who develops a fever should be seen by our doctors.
And any infant who has a cough that interferes with eating or sleeping should be
seen as well.)
The criteria for Emeritus status in the Society as stated in the By-laws are noted at the bottom of the Membership page.
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