Unfortunate Event


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5-Year Member
Feb 18, 2008
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

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?
If you have a positive PPD (TB skin test), but testing shows that you do not have active TB, you will be placed on 6 months of INH medication. Current active TB or treatment with INH is a disqualification. If you do not have active TB and are placed on the INH then the chances of a waiver do increase. I really don't know how the waiver authorities would look at this.

The INH treatment isn't harsh, its one pill a day, but it can cause some liver issues while on the medication, which is the reason for the disqualification while on the INH. So I really don't have an answer for you. I would think positive, that if contacted your PPD will be negative.
Cero -

Take this one step at a time. A request to be tested is not always indicative that the risk of infection is high. Public health departments must be vigilant. This happened at my daughter's college and she needed to get tested. What I am trying to say is - don't worry too much. If you are reqested to be tested then get tested and go from there. If you are requested to go back and be retested in a few weeks then do that as well.
Don't worry about something until there is something to worry about.
BTW- wearing gloves is overkill and won't protect you from TB... a face mask maybe but we can't/shouldn't go around spending our life behind a face mask (shades of Michael Jackson here.....)

Not sure but I think a PPD is required upon entrance to a service academy? Anyway - the test itself is not a big deal and is very simple.
yes, a recent PPD is required on the immunization record for the SA.
Positive TB should not be a big issue

You can get a positive TB test at anytime. You only need to be exposed to TB to be positive, not necessarily have it. I tested positive a few years ago after being deployed to Katrina. I have never treated it because the treatment is too long. Most Soldiers after deployment will also test positive for TB. I did not have any problems passing my DoDMERB. Sorry for the late reply, but someone might have the same question later on.
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