BARTOW, Fla. (970 WFLA) - The Florida Department of Health in PolkCounty has confirmed that a student at LakeGibsonHigh School tested positive for tuberculosis. Health officials say the student is currently undergoing treatment at home and is in stable condition.
The identity of the student will not be released, but those who have been in close, prolonged contact with the student have been notified of their exposure and are being provided with free TB testing, health officials said.
While tuberculosis (TB) is contagious, a person must have close, prolonged contact over an extended period of time to become infected. Examples of those possibly exposed include persons living in the same household, close friends, those frequently riding in the same car or bus, and students and teachers in the same classroom as the student. The risk is low of TB being passed to others who have been in large open spaces with this student, such as the cafeteria or in the hallways. Therefore, health workers say testing is not recommended for all students and faculty.
All students, parents, and teachers received information that describes the common symptoms of TB which include:
- chronic cough
- weight loss
- night sweats
- chest pain
- coughing up blood
The health department, in conjunction with school board officials, has determined which students and staff need to be tested and have notified them Tuesday. They say those who've had only brief or passing contact with the student do not need testing.
The Florida Department of Health in Polk will provide free tuberculosis tests at LakeGibsonHigh School on Wednesday, May 21 to students and faculty who have been notified of their need for testing. Individuals being tested must sign and turn in a permission slip in order to be tested, according to health officials.