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Tuberculosis scare at San Marino High

March 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County Public Health officials Thursday were reading the tests of roughly 280 San Marino High students and staff members, checking for exposure to tuberculosis after an individual at the school contracted the disease. It was another day of classes at San Marino High School and for many students and staff members it was a day of decisions, as the County Health Department began reading the results of tuberculosis skin tests.

Click in the Eyewitness News story window above to watch Leanne Suter's report from San Marino High School.

"They sent my mom a letter telling her about the TB. It said someone had been infected. So anyone who has been around her in the last six months is going to be tested. I was tested," said Evelyn Keung, a student.

"I am worried about it. So many people got tested, but people are saying that it wasn't a strong case of TB," said Connie Chen, a student.

Health officials alerted the school earlier this month of an active case of TB. According to students it was a female Freshman who contracted the disease. School officials will not confirm the student's identity.

School officials say that their main concern is to protect the 1,100 students and staff members.

"The Public Health Department comes in and does an investigation and they look at the group that may have a probability of being exposed. It is called a targeted group and it is about 300," said Gary Woods, San Marino Unified Sch. Dist., Supt.

On Tuesday, the Public Health Department tested those at risk. Even if a person test positive for TB doesn't necessarily mean that they have the disease. It only means that they have been exposed.

"The school told everyone that it shouldn't be that big of a deal. They just wanted to check if there would be a slight possibility that someone has TB," said Henry Sub, a student.

School officials were told by the Public Health Department that there is a very low probability that anyone was exposed to TB. But neither the Public Health Department or the school district wanted to take any chances.

It will likely take the Public Health Department two day to read all of the test results.

 

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