Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

250 to be tested for tuberculosis at Armwood High School in Tampa

TAMPA — About 250 students and staff members at Armwood High School learned Tuesday they will need testing for tuberculosis, after being exposed to a 17-year-old girl at the school who is infected.

Health officials say there is no need to close the school. Unlike swine flu, tuberculosis is spread through prolonged exposure to someone who is coughing TB germs into the air.

"Tuberculosis is contagious, but it is not highly contagious, and certainly much, much less so than influenza," said Dr. Doug Holt, director of the Hillsborough County Health Department.

Authorities say the 17-year-old likely contracted the disease from a relative living outside the United States. She is receiving treatment and considered at "low risk" to spread TB. She is not currently at the school, which is in Seffner.

Still, health officials plan to conduct skin testing Monday on the 250 people who were potentially exposed. They will hold a meeting at Armwood today at 5 p.m. to explain the situation to families.

Three days after the skin test, which involves injecting a small amount of fluid under the skin, everyone will be examined. Those who test negative for TB will be retested in two to three months.

Those who test positive will begin a nine-month course of treatment, which requires patients to take a pill each day. The Health Department will provide the medication at no cost.

Between 5 and 10 percent of the nation's population has tuberculosis, according to health officials, but many never develop active infections. Each year, Hills­borough has about 80 to 90 cases, health officials said.

Active tuberculosis germs usually attack the lungs, but they can affect the brain, the kidneys or the spine. A person can die if he does not get treatment, but the TB rate is declining in the United States, and deaths are now very rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3322. For more health news, visit www.tampabay.com/health.

250 to be tested for tuberculosis at Armwood High School in Tampa 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bar review: Sample whiskey, vodka, rum, absinthe and more at Fish Hawk Spirits in Ybor

    Bars & Spirits

    While craft brewing has firmly entrenched itself in local drinking culture, craft distilling is still a very niche market. Part of this is due to outdated and arguably unfair distilling laws, and part of it is because successful distilling can often be a lot tougher and more time-consuming than brewing up a few batches …

    For $10, you can sample four of Fish Hawk Spirits’ fruit-infused vodkas, as well as its molasses-based rums, tangerine brandy and more. Old whiskey barrels lend a rustic vibe to the Ybor shop.
  2. Pinellas deputy in trouble for social media boast: 'Nothing like almost shooting someone'

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy is under investigation after a photo that shows him boasting about almost shooting someone made the rounds on social media.

    A Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy is under investigation after a photo that shows him boasting about almost shooting someone made the rounds on social media. Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Gross on Thursday confirmed deputy Austen Callus' employment and said the agency is "aware of the social media post." [Facebook'
  3. ReliaQuest's benevolent hackers try to make companies more secure

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Their goal is to get in. Past a security desk, through a firewall, into a system they shouldn't have access to. Sometimes they'll look like a regular person in the lobby who innocently forgot their access badge. Most times they won't be seen at all, remotely and quietly prodding a company's systems from a …

    Angelo Castellano of Tampa works at his desk at ReliaQuest | | [CHARLIE KAIJO, Times]
  4. Watch the trailer for 'Mini Lights,' based on St. Petersburg's frightening urban legend

    Blogs

    Perhaps you've heard of the "mini lights." The tales can vary a bit, but generally, they're said to be nasty little creatures controlled by a witch that once lived near Booker Creek. They come out after dark to "get you."

    A scene from the proof of concept trailer for a mini lights movie.
  5. Democratic ad: Adam Putnam is 'silent' on GOP health bill

    Blogs

    Democrats are trying to attach Adam Putnam to the GOP’s unpopular plans to replace Obamacare.