Health Department moves to contain tuberculosis case

Student Health Services and the President’s office sent 110 letters, warning students that they may have had contact with tuberculosis. The name of the infected individual has not and will not be released because of confidentiality issues.

At the end of last week, Student Health Services became aware of a student that was diagnosed with a case of active tuberculosis. As soon as they received the information, the letters were addressed and sent. Most letters were sent last Friday or Monday at the latest.

Sandy Franz, administrative director of Student Heath Services, wants people to know that, “If you don’t get a letter in the mail, then there is no need for concern.”

State and county health officials have been involved since the student was diagnosed. They have interviewed the infected person, and determined all of the people that person may have come into contact with.

Douglas Samuels, vice provost for student affairs, and University President Daniel Bernstine sent a letter emphasizing it is important to get tested if you have received a letter.

Both letters stressed tuberculosis is hard to contract. The letter from health services lists several symptoms of tuberculosis: a lingering cough, fever, weight loss, night sweats, constant fatigue and loss of appetite.

Franz is concerned that all 110 students who received letters should come into health services as soon as possible to receive a skin test. After six week to two months, it is critical to receive another test.

People can have a positive skin test but not have active tuberculosis. The tuberculosis can become active after a period of time, generally released when the patient is old or sick.

The university acted swiftly to contain the tuberculosis and make people aware of their possible contact,

It is critical that people do not panic, the university is confident they’ve identified all possible community members that may have been affected by tuberculosis.