As you probably read in today’s paper a William Fleming High School student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis, but what’s next?
Stephanie Harper, director of the Roanoke and Alleghany health department districts, told me this morning that the department’s investigation is ongoing. Right now the department is working to find the people at risk of exposures. Harper said that’s where the department wants to devote its resources.
She said the methodical process doesn’t have a firm timeline, but she’s hoping for more information by tomorrow. She said the department looks at who the students came in contact such as friends or who they sit with in cafeteria.
Once the department identifies those at risk they will be tested and their evaluation will be ongoing, Harper said.
“This is a long process, meaning that folks may be evaluated once and then some people reevaluated again,” she said. “The process of TB evaluation is a process.”
Harper also urged caution when it comes to the disease.
“This is not an emergency,” she said. “There is treatment for folks that have the infection, for folks that may have other issues related to TB.”
For more information on treatment, symptoms and just what TB is click here.
“TB is not a new and emerging disease,” Harper said. “It’s been around for a long time, which means we know a lot about it and we have good ways to treat it.”