Health officials: TB testing to be offered to all Butler High students; first suspected case more concerning

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Richmond County Health Department director has announced everyone at Butler High School will be tested for tuberculosis.

The scare started earlier this month when one student came down with symptoms of TB. Since then, groups of children who have had contact with the student have been getting tested.

Executive Director for the Richmond County Health Department Ketty Gonzalez explained why they are now offering it to everyone.

"Some of the people that were outside of the highest risk were tested and a couple came back positive," Gonzalez said.

Some test results have come in so far with some positive test results, but that just means they were exposed -- not that they have TB. They will have to go through another round of testing.

One mother, Charlene Pressley, says the students need to be taught what TB is because, apparently, some of the students are comparing it to HIV. She has a 10th grade son and says kids need to be educated on what it is.

"People are going to be having the sniffles and the cough and the runny nose, but that doesn't mean that that's TB. Usually, TB creates a lot of symptoms with fever, sweats, weight loss," Gonzalez said.

School administrators have planned a school-wide information session for all students to learn more about TB on Wednesday.

This all comes after a female student showed signs of the disease. Now health officials say her illness is more concerning because right now all testing shows signs of a confirmed case.

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