Scottsdale high school student tests positive for tuberculosis

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A Scottsdale high school student recently tested positive for tuberculosis, and now Valley health officials are getting involved.

The student attends Desert Mountain High School, and the school district has already sent out a letter warning parents.

Health Department spokeswoman Jeanene Fowler said the student tested positive for active tuberculosis, which is the most infectious type of tuberculosis.

The Scottsdale Unified School District is considering any student at Desert Mountain high who had a class with the infected student to be at risk.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is currently involved with the situation and results of the testing will be known on May 15.

"This is a common occurrence. It's a routine investigation. We know exactly how to test for it. We know exactly how to treat for it," said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Health officials have investigated three cases of tuberculosis in high schools this year.

Tuberculosis infects the lungs and is spread when someone coughs germs into the air and someone else breathes them in.

Health officials say in most cases, someone is sick for months before they're diagnosed.

"You don't want to test everybody, because the skin test isn't really that great. And when you start testing really low risk people, you'll come up with more false positive tests than real positive tests," Dr. England said.

Students who are at risk in this case will be tested next week for tuberculosis.


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