BOISE, Idaho — The Central District Health Department has recently received notice from a local health professional of a person diagnosed with active tuberculosis –- and that a number of students and staff at Capital High School may have been exposed to the person.
The exposure happened during January through May of the 2018-19 school year.
“This person is no longer affiliated with Capital High School or the Boise School District. At this time, there is no known ongoing risk for TB exposure at the school -- and it is safe for students and staff to attend school and participate in activities as usual. The general public is not at an increased risk of getting TB as a result of this case,” said central District Health Department spokesperson Christine Myron.
The CDHD has contacted staff and students directly by mail who they have determined may have been exposed to the active case of TB and provided further information about evaluation and testing. The letters were mailed on Wednesday, September 25. No persons other than those contacted directly by the CDHD will need to take action.
Staff and students who may have been exposed are encouraged to get tested for TB through their primary care provider, Central District Health, or the local health district closest to them. Both the CDHD and the Boise School District have informed all staff and parents with children at the school of the matter.
TB is a disease caused by bacteria spread through the air, usually through repeated and prolonged exposure in a confined indoor space. It often affects the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body.
Health experts say it’s also important to remember:
-Most people who are exposed to TB do not get infected.
-People who are infected cannot give TB to others unless they are sick with TB.
-Typical symptoms of tuberculosis disease are a chronic cough, fever, or night sweats that are persistent for several weeks and usually get worse.
People experiencing chronic symptoms who think they may have been exposed to TB should call their primary care provider.
Most cases of TB are treatable with antibiotics that are commonly available.
In Idaho, there were fifteen TB cases reported in 2018; eight of those cases were in Ada County. TB case counts and information is tracked by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and can be found at https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Health/DiseasesConditions/Tuberculosis/tabid/378/Default.aspx