HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Health officials in Hanover County are warning students and staff of an active case of tuberculosis disease affiliated with Atlee High School.
The case has been contained, according to a letter sent to the Atlee H.S. community from a local health official, and there is no known risk of ongoing TB transmission at the school.
The Hanover Health Department is evaluating students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed to the active case and will offer free evaluation and testing.
Below is the full letter:
Dear Atlee High School Community:
The Hanover Health Department recently received confirmation of one active case of tuberculosis (TB) disease affiliated with Atlee High School. This case has been contained, and there is no known risk of ongoing TB transmission in Atlee High School. The Hanover Health Department is coordinating evaluations of students, faculty, and staff who may have been exposed to the active case of TB. After we complete our assessment, we will offer free evaluation and testing to those we believe may have been exposed. We will notify those affected in a separate letter, which will include testing times and dates.
There will be an informational meeting about TB and the risk of TB transmission on Monday, February 5, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Atlee High School auditorium. While the meeting is open to the public, it is specifically intended for Atlee High School students, parents, faculty, and staff. During the meeting, Hanover Health Department staff and TB experts from the Virginia Department of Health will be available to answer questions.
We understand this may be concerning to you, so we want to reassure you that we believe the risk of TB transmission is low in this instance. We also understand that you may have several questions about TB. As a result, we have included several facts and notes about TB below.
- TB is an airborne communicable disease caused by bacteria that are released into the air when a person with active TB disease coughs, speaks, laughs, sneezes, or sings.
- TB is difficult to transmit to another person. It does not thrive outside of the body once it makes contact with a surface. For instance, TB cannot be contracted from someone’s clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces.
- Persons can become infected with TB if they spend a lot of time with a person who has active TB disease.
- TB infection alone does not make people sick or contagious, and persons with TB infection do not necessarily have TB disease. Having TB infection means that TB disease could develop in the future.
- Some typical symptoms of active TB disease are: persistent cough (>3 weeks), fever, night sweats, weight loss, decreased appetite, and fatigue.
- Both TB disease and TB infection can be treated with medication.
- You can find additional information at: www.cdc.gov/tb/
Again, after we complete our assessment, we will offer free evaluation and testing to those we believe may have been exposed. We will notify those affected in a separate letter, which will include testing times and dates. In the meantime, if you have any questions about TB or our plan for testing, you may contact the Hanover Health Department at (804) 365-4313 between 8:00 a.m. & 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak with Nancy Davis, RN, or Joanna Cirillo, RN.