News 12 11pm/ Tuesday October 8, 2013
Augusta, Ga (WRDW)---- Calvin Herrington is heading to his after school job, but before he left school Tuesday he got a letter to take home.
"They gave us a slip to take home and it said they were having a meeting about a health concern in the school and it's a possible TB outbreak." Herrington told News12.
School officials wouldn't talk on camera, but they did confirm one person at AR Johnson tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis and while parents were invited to talk about it Tuesday at 6:30, one doctor says don't get scared yet.
"Testing positive for tuberculosis simply means that you've been around somebody who's had it and that should not be cause for alarm," said Dr. James Wilde.
Dr. Wilde says 95% of people who test positive for the illness will never get the active disease, but that doesn't mean you should ignore it either.
"The primary symptoms of Tuberculosis are fever, chronic cough, weight loss, and classically night sweats, sweating only at night time," he told News12.
And while Herrington knows some of this info he says TB is still intimidating.
"I know a lot of people get sick because it's a very deadly disease and it can spread very easily. So, it scares me a lot," he said.
Dr. Wilde says about a million people die from tuberculosis each year, in other countries, but here the threat here is much lower.
"In this country death from TB is extremely rare," said the doctor.
So, while someone did test positive for tuberculosis there is no active confirmation of the illness yet. Either way Herrington will take the conversation home.
"I don't know I am going to ask my parents about it," he told News12.
There is a nationwide shortage of the serum used to test for TB. The doc says there are other alternatives for testing and the shortage is just a temporary set back.