ARC Student Diagnosed with Active Tuberculosis

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One hundred fifty students, faculty and staff on the campus of American River College may have been exposed to tuberculosis, according to the Sacramento County Health Department.

A student who attended school there tested positive for active TB, and health officials are contacting anyone who may have had contact with him or her.

The news is catching many students off guard.

“It’s pretty much unheard of. You never hear of TB, I thought they had eradicated it and gotten rid of it completely but wow right here right now,” a student told FOX40.

The Sacramento County Health Department said a local doctor contacted it Nov. 1, stating that a student at the school just tested positive for an active form of the disease.

“So our investigators started working closely with the school, to identify if there were any other potential individuals that had been exposed,” said Pamela Harris, Sacramento County Director of Nursing and Public Heath.

The County estimate as many as 150 people on campus may have come into contact with the original patient. The health department and the school are sending out letters and e-mails to anyone who may have been exposed.

“If you’re contacted via email or by letter, then just follow the directions on the letter if you have any questions call the health center or the health department,” said Pam Whipple, American River College’s head nurse.

The fear is the student with active TB may have passed along inactive or latent tb infections to others. That means anyone who was exposed won’t be able to pass along to disease themselves. The county plans to test those 150 people beginning Dec. 1.

“(We waited till Dec. 1 because) people have to be notified as to the testing and we’re trying not to alarm the community,” Harris told FOX40.

Harris said county investigators are looking into exactly how the student contracted tuberculosis in the first place.

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