Tuberculosis scare at University of Houston

There is a scare at the University of Houston, where someone has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, So what’s being done to keep the disease from spreading?

A letter with the heading “Tuberculosis Case on Campus” was emailed to staff and students, warning them someone at UH has and is being treated for tuberculosis.  

"That’s pretty scary,” says UH student Luis Morales.

Scary, because how do you fight an enemy you can’t see? That’s just one question students at University of Houston are asking as they try to avoid breathing in the contagious bacterial infection, tuberculosis, after someone at the university was diagnosed with it.

"I actually stayed in my room the whole day. Yes, because you have to be safe,” says student Uyiosa Elegon.

"It is serious. However, we know tuberculosis is treatable and nobody should die of tuberculosis in the United States,” explains Health Dept. Public Health Investigator Manager Patrick Ndibe.

"I wasn’t too familiar with it. I had to pull out my phone and look up everything,” says student Dalila Alvarado.

"I was wondering are people not doing the best at like hygiene? Are people not taking care of themselves? Why is tuberculosis at this campus?” Adds Elegon. 

To keep students from Googling or guessing what they need to know about TB, the university is holding health forums to fill them in. 

"You cannot get TB by kissing somebody, hugging somebody, shaking somebody’s hand,” explains Ndibe.

Ndibe says the person diagnosed with TB at UH is undergoing treatment away from campus and everyone who was in close contact has been notified and have to be tested. 

Ndibe says TB is spread by breathing in the bacteria in an enclosed area. 

"The only way you can get TB is when somebody who has TB in the lungs when they cough, they sneeze, they shout they put out the bacteria in the air and you have to spend a good amount of time with them,” Ndibe says. 

How much time?  "Six hours at least in a week and you continuously breathe the bacteria in,” adds Ndibe.                

Symptoms of TB include coughing, chest pain, fever and weight loss.