UPDATE: 10 Hephzibah High students test positive for TB exposure

News 12 First at Five/Wednesday April 23, 2014

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW)--It's been two days since the health department began testing 200 students and staff at Hephzibah High School, who were at most risk for exposure to tuberculosis.

Now, after 111 students were tested Monday, Tammy Burdeaux, the district public health nursing and clinical director says the very first results are in.

"Out of the 111 students that we tested on Monday we had about 10 positive skin tests," said Burdeaux.

Ten students out of more than 100 students tested showing signs of being exposed to TB is less than 10 percent of students exposed.

With such a small number, Burdeaux says more students and staff don't need to be tested at this time.

"That number is a very very low number," she said. "It's about the same as if you went out into the general population and just did some TB testing."

That's good news for parents like Terry McLaughin, who has a son and daughter at the school who were not on that list.

"We're going to get them tested still just to make sure I want to make sure they don't have it," he said.

For now, Burdeaux says parents like McGauglin and his teens don't need to worry about exposure from the 10 students who have tested positive for TB exposure.

"We'll be bringing them in to get chest x-rays. They're not exhibiting any symptoms, so we're not worried about that at all," Burdeaux explained.

And although McGlaughlin is still getting his children tested, he says he does trust the health department.

"They're doing their job," he said. "They're going the way about it that they're supposed to [and] we've got to let them do their jobs."

Today, the health department tested 28 out of the remaining 89 students and staff who weren't able to be tested Monday.

For the students tested today, their results will be in on Friday.

After today, the Health Department says there are still 61 students who have not been tested.

Some of their families chose to have them tested with their own doctor and others were again just late or out again today.

And again, those 10 students who tested positive for exposure do not necessarily have TB. They've only tested positive for being exposed to TB germs.

Because those 10 aren't showing any symptoms, they're still in school. The original student who tested positive for exposure, sparking this testing, is out of school until test results come back.

It'll be about a month before we know whether that first student has the TB infection.


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