ORLANDO- The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is currently involved in the contact investigation of one case of active Tuberculosis (TB) of an Ocoee High School student. School officials, as well as families of attending students, are being notified and are participating in the investigation. Approximately 130 students and staff from the school have been identified for testing. Those individuals exposed are being medically evaluated and will be offered therapy, if found infected. The investigation was initiated following the recent hospitalization, and release, of a student with active TB.
"The school district and our health department came together quickly to respond to this case," said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. "The health and safety of the students and staff is our top priority and our work with local school officials is an important part of the public health process."
TB is a disease caused by germs spread from person to person in close contact through the air by respiratory droplets and requires prolonged exposures to the same indoor air with the infected person. TB germs are put in the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Persons who breathe in the air containing TB germs can become infected.
TB usually affects the lungs, yet may also affect other parts of the body. Symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and coughing up blood.
TB is diagnosed by a skin test or blood test, administered by your health care provider or local health department. A positive test usually means the person has been infected with the TB germ, however, it does not necessarily mean the person has active TB disease. Additional tests, such as an x-ray or sputum sample are needed to determine if the person has active TB disease. TB can be easily cured through proper medical treatment.