Twelve test positive for tuberculosis in Marion County
OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) -
Marion County health officials say at least 12 people who came into contact with a tuberculosis-infected student have tested positive for the respiratory illness.
A suspected case of tuberculosis involving a North Marion High School student who was taking summer classes was reported to the Florida Department of Health in late July. The student was isolated and began drug therapy shortly thereafter.
Health officials say the 12 have not come down with the disease and are not contagious, but could if they don't receive preventative treatment.
TB is a disease that usually infects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body, causing serious illness. It is spread when an infected person coughs, talks, sings or sneezes untreated TB germs into the air.
Persons who breathe in the germs can become infected. Typically, only persons who have had very close, day-to-day contact with the infected person run the risk of contracting the disease. TB is less contagious than measles, mumps, chicken pox, and influenza. Even if a person is infected, the bacteria may remain dormant and not contagious to others. For more information about TB, visit www.cdc.gov/tb.