News 12 at 6 o'clock / Sept. 18, 2013
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW) -- "Symptoms range from coughing to fever, chills loss of weight loss of appetite," says Emmitt Walker with the Richmond County Health Department.
Those are just some of the signs of tuberculosis, which is highly contagious. "This person presented TB-like symptoms which is why we immediately began a regiment of medicines.
Walker says once the student was identified immediate action was taken as a precaution. "We immediately began contacting the Richmond County Board of Education and the process began in identifying persons who had direct contact," says Walker.
He says that included family members as well as friends and those who may have had contact with the student.
Walker stresses that TB is contagious only through direct contact or by breathing in the germ."Not casual contact but sustained contact and close contact."
Meanwhile he says parents of students who attend the school are being notified whether or not their children had direct contact with the student. "Again, once it has been identified, even if it is suspected we begin treatment," says Walker.
Officials say it takes about two days to read results of a TB skin test to confirm a positive or negative reading.