Tuberculosis testing at Glenn Hills High School

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- There's been some question to whether a particular Glenn Hills High student does in fact have tuberculosis. Today, we learned we'll have to wait a little longer for an answer.

News 12 asked if he or she tested positive for TB. Emmitt Walker with the Richmond County Board of Health replied, "That has not been confirmed yet."

It could take a few more weeks before we know for sure.

"As we speak they're trying to grow a culture. We're probably looking at another three to four weeks before we know definitively if the student is positive for TB," he explained.

What we do know, earlier this month a Glenn Hills High student began to show symptoms of tuberculosis.

"We simply erred on the side of caution. We decided to go ahead and remove the student from the school and put te student on meds," Walker said.

News 12 obtained a copy of the letter the school's principal sent home to parents last week. It urges parents to "get their kids tested ASAP!!"

Today a student at the school said he stayed home today partly because of the contagious disease.

"I don't even like them to be around me . I ain't even trying to get stuff like that," he said.

Tuberculosis is contagious only through direct contact or by breathing in the germ. Today the high school offered skin tests for all those who had direct and sustained close contact with the student in question, but health officials insist it's not as scary as it sounds.

"Not at all, not at all. I realize that tuberculosis or the name causes fear and panic, but there's no need," insisted Walker. "Even if a person has had contact with this student, this disease is treatable."

Another student says she has her own way of dealing with the illness at school.

"I just stay away from every student I see coughing," she said.

Some of the symptoms of TB include feeling sick or weak, having a fever or night sweats, chest pain, and coughing up blood. If you want to learn more about it, we've attached links to the Department of Public Health and the CDC's website on tuberculosis.

All those that were tested at the high school today should find out their results this coming Thursday.

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