Second Salisbury University Student Diagnosed with TB - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Second Salisbury University Student Diagnosed with TB

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SALISBURY, Md.- Officials with the Wicomico County Health Department say a student at Salisbury University has tested positive for tuberculosis.

This is the second time in recent months that a tuberculosis case was diagnosed at the university. University officials say another student tested positive for the bacterial disease back in October.

The university sent out an email to the campus community on Tuesday explaining that the student is under medical care and is no longer attending classes. The health department said it is working closely with the university and says there is no need to panic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tuberculosis is difficult to contract. 

"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.

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