"It usually takes at least eight hours of close proximity in a small room for TB transmission to possibly occur, and the air space is only contagious when the untreated patient is actually present," said Lori Brewster, a Wicomico County Health Department officer.
The most common symptom of the disease is coughing, according to the CDC. There are other symptoms such as an ongoing fever and weight loss among other things.
The health department says it has begun reaching out to those who may have had closer contact, including classmates. They will be offered the opportunity for TB testing.
In the email sent out to students, the university said the tuberculin test is being done simply as a precaution to ensure no others were infected before the affected student began treatment. SU said it expects those who are notified, as well as any students who were notified following last semester's announcement of a previous tuberculosis case and have not already done so, to be tested.
According to the CDC, in 2013 there were 9,582 tuberculosis cases reported in the United States, with 65 percent of those cases in foreign-born persons.
For more information, call the Wicomico County Health Department at (410) 543-6943 or SU's Student Health Services at (410) 543-6262.