UPDATE: School system confirms student being tested for exposure to TB

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News 12 First at Five/ Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- Dr. Carol Rountree with the Richmond County School Board confirms a student at Hephzibah High School has been exposed to TB.

That does not necessarily mean the student has Tuberculosis. News 12 won't know until tests are complete whether this is a confirmed case, but regardless, the student is being treated as a precaution.

We were also able to confirm the student did ride a school bus with Middle School students. Any at risk students are being contacted about a mandatory meeting Wednesday night.

Dana Chavous got the robo call today from her daughter's high school, telling her to come to that meeting.

"It said that Wednesday the 16th there was a mandatory parent meeting at 6PM in the gym to talk about a health concern," she said.

Her friend had already let her know the call was coming and the rumor was the meeting is about a possible case of TB at Hephzibah High.

"Had my friend not notified me about the TB, I wouldn't have even gone to the meeting tonight," she said.

The worry is also setting in now, because her 2 year old, along with her entire family, has a bad cough.

"We've got 5 people in this house hacking their lungs up. Is it seasonal? Is it a respiratory virus, or is it TB?" she wonders.

It's a big concern for her since her 16 year old student has a heart condition, and TB exposure would be a very serious health concern.

"It really concerns me that it's around. You don't think about things with new vaccinations and stuff actually having outbreaks," she said.

Hephzibah High isn't the first school in Richmond County to test students for TB. This is the fourth school in the county to test students since 2012. Both A.R. Johnson and Glenn Hills had TB scares last year, and Butler High had a Tuberculosis scare in 2012.

Starting Monday, the health department will give free skin tests to students, faculty, and staff who have been exposed to the student who tested positive, but Chavous thinks they should take one more step.

"I think that if there's a confirmed case, every child needs to be checked," she said.

The parent meeting is in the gym at Hephzibah High at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- A meeting Wednesday night at Hephzibah High School will discuss tuberculosis screenings in general, Tim Spivey, Deputy Superintendent, said.

Parents received the automated call Tuesday night that alerted them of a "mandatory meeting" Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Hephzibah High cafeteria.

Spivey said he didn't know of a confirmed case of TB at any of the Richmond County schools.

Last year, A.R. Johnson and Glenn Hills High both tested students and staff for tuberculosis. In 2012, Butler High School also had a TB scare.

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