FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — Public health officials in Solano County are investigating a case of tuberculosis at Laurel Creek Elementary School. Parents received a letter on Monday informing them of the situation.
“Um, I’m a little disturbed,” said Jermel Teal, a father of two.
A spokesperson for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District told CBS13 the school found out about the case of tuberculosis last Wednesday. Now the district is working with Solano County Public Health to identify anyone who may have had contact with the infected person.
“I wasn’t shocked because they already said there was an outbreak in Fairfield,” Teal said.
The district’s letter doesn’t specify who was infected but does say the district is trying to identify anyone who’s had “at least several hours of contact” with the infected person. Teal received one letter for each of his children today.
“They should have sent some letters out, I thought, earlier than they did!” he told CBS13.
“The individual with active pulmonary TB disease is receiving treatment and will return to the school campus only after Public Health has provided clearance,” said Michael Stacey, Deputy Health Officer and TB Controller for Solano County Health and Social Services. “TB is a disease that can be treated and prevented, and we want to reassure everyone that there is no ongoing risk of infection from the active TB case at this time.”
According to the CDC, there’s a difference between an active case of tuberculosis and a tuberculosis infection. People with a TB infection don’t feel sick. They have inactive TB bacteria in their bodies, but cannot spread it to others and they only have a 10 percent risk of developing active TB disease during their lifetimes. People with active pulmonary TB disease feel sick from active bacteria. They may cough frequently, feel weak, have a fever, lose weight, and have night sweats.
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TB can spread to others through microscopic droplets whenever the sick person talks, sings or coughs.
Public health officials say they will be conducting TB tests on campus for certain students, but Teal says he plans to take precaution on his own.
“I’m going to take [my son] to get tested!” he said.
Solano County will host a town-hall style public information meeting on Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. at the Laurel Creek Elementary School cafeteria. Parents will have the chance to have their questions about tuberculosis answered.