Tuberculosis scare leads to second round of testing

- Following four reported cases of tuberculosis at George Bush High School in Richmond, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services as well as the school district will be hosting a second round of tests.

The decision comes as less than 250 of the 647 students and 27 staff, who were sent letters requiring them to have a blood sample drawn, showed up for the initial test on June 19.

"Four in one school is concerning and we really want to make sure that we reach out to every single person that potentially is exposed," says Kaye Reynolds, Deputy Director of the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services.

In addition to the four confirmed cases at Bush High School, 12 have tested positive for the bacteria that can lead to the disease.

"I just started hearing about it on Snapchat. My friend started texting me and said, "hey do you have tuberculosis?" says Andy Nugyen a Junior at Bush High School.

On Thursday, August 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., students and faculty who received letters in the mail are being asked to show up at Bush High School for the testing.

"We need to have it done this week because this is the only way that we'll have time to evaluate those positives," says Reynolds.

Officials were notified back on May 30 when at least one person went to school who had an active case of TB. The timing making it hard to test students and staff as the district was only days away from summer break.

"We do know that they came to school with active TB and therefore spread it through the school," says Reynolds.

"More concerned of our health and that they don't infect the school. There's a lot of other kids that are healthy. We don't want them to get sick," says My'Kariisa Johnson who is a student at Bush High School.

That's why Fort Bend County and the school are requiring those who may be at risk to plan to get tested.

"Since it's before school, I don't think we should be worried because probably by like August 20 or something, they'll tell us if it's right to go," says Ashley Gottlieb, a sophomore at Bush High School.

A positive blood test does not indicate that a person is ill and active with TB, it just show they have been exposed to the bacteria and are infected. Officials are taking this seriously saying if you received a letter to get checked, you need to otherwise you won't be able to go to school when it begins on August 22.
 

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