" MIRAMAR TB case triggers fears at Miramar school About one in 10 students at Everglades High's main campus must be tested for tuberculosis after a classmate contracted the disease earlier this school year. Posted on Sat, Apr. 12, 2008 BY NIRVI SHAH nshah@MiamiHerald.com AND NATALIE P. McNEAL Although the danger of contracting tuberculosis from an infected classmate had long passed, a touch of paranoia rippled across the Everglades High campus in Miramar on Friday when students learned that a classmate was diagnosed with the disease late last month. When sophomore Dorrette Broughton, 16, coughed, she said one of her classmates started spraying disinfectant near her. Freshman Telesha Duke, 14, said she noticed one boy at school wearing gloves all day. ''I think he was taking it [too] far,'' Duke said. Students chattered all day about the situation until Everglades Principal Paul Fetscher confirmed the diagnosis over the school's broadcast system Friday afternoon. Some students called their parents and left school after getting the news. Concerns about new infections Friday were unfounded, but health officials want to know if anyone at Everglades may have been infected in recent months. The Broward County Health Department believes only about 240 people at the 2,500-student main campus -- including a handful of staff members -- may have been exposed to the disease by the 17-year-old student, who is home recovering. The student had been absent for much of the semester. She was diagnosed in March but showed signs of infection in December, said Dr. John Livengood, director of epidemiology for the Broward County Health Department. She became ill after a trip to the Caribbean. One of her family members also had the disease. Both are responding to treatment, Livengood said. The health department is sending certified letters to students and staff who shared eight classes with the teenager throughout the school year, he said. Other letters explaining the situation at the Miramar school will go home with all students on Monday. Fetscher said he learned of the student's illness on Tuesday, but the health department instructed him not to inform parents and students until next week. He made the announcement Friday because students kept asking him about rumors, he said. The screening involves all students who shared a class with the infected student during first and second semester -- a total of eight classes, Livengood said. About 1,000 freshmen who attend classes in nearby portables were not considered at risk of exposure. To screen for the disease, a small amount of antigen is placed under the skin on the forearm and then checked for swelling two or three days later, he said. The amount of swelling indicates whether someone has been infected. Most cases of tuberculosis are easily treated with antibiotics, and most infected people never have any symptoms. But treatment can prevent an outbreak years later, Livengood said. There are about 80 cases of tuberculosis diagnosed each year in Broward. About 10 percent of those involve people 18 and younger, Livengood said." ^^^ This, unfortunately happened at my school. We don't know who the girl is, and since she is 17 it is likely that I had a class with her. If I do get a letter to test for TB and it comes out positive, what am I to do, and how will this affect me going into the academy?