Students Possibly Exposed to Tuberculosis at Howard T. Ennis Sch - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Students Possibly Exposed to Tuberculosis at Howard T. Ennis School

Posted: Updated:

DOVER, Del. – The Division of Public Health (DPH) and Indian River School District announced Tuesday that a small number of individuals may have been exposed to someone with active tuberculosis (TB) as part of being transported to and from the Howard T. Ennis School.

DPH is making contact with those individuals to offer free screenings, as well as treatment if needed. To protect medical privacy, no additional information will be provided on the active TB case or the individuals who need testing.

“In consulting with the Division of Public Health, we believe the risk of transmission in this case to be low,” Indian River School District Superintendent Mark Steele said. “However, as a precautionary measure, we join DPH in recommending that certain individuals be tested for the disease. We have facilitated testing for those individuals determined to be in need of screening. The Indian River School District is committed to taking every possible precaution to assure the health and safety of students, staff and parents.”

While the risk of transmission is low, the medical guidance is that those who have been exposed and become infected with the TB bacteria should be treated so they do not develop TB disease. DPH began the outreach Monday afternoon via phone call and a letter to the small number of individuals who need testing. The outreach continues today.

“At the Division of Public Health, we understand that this news can be concerning to parents and the community. I am grateful to the Indian River School District and the team at Ennis who are working closely with us,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.  “We have reached out to the small number of individuals who need testing. If someone does not hear from us by letter or phone, they have no reason to get tested. This situation is a good reminder that TB is still active in our community and it’s important to test those who may be at risk for thedisease.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following people get tested for TB:

  • People who have may have been exposed to someone who has TB disease.
  • People from a continent or country where TB disease is common, including but not limited to, Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
  • People who live or work in high-risk settings (for example, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities or nursing homes, and homeless shelters).
  • Health care workers who care for patients at increased risk for TB disease.
  • Infants, children and adolescents exposed to adults who are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease.

TB is generally on the decline throughout the country – with 9,557 cases nationwide in 2015 – but vigilance is important. Delaware had 22 cases of TB disease (also known as “active TB”) in 2015, 16 in 2016, and 10 to date in 2017. As opposed to the latent kind, TB disease cases are defined as having the symptoms of the illness and potentially being able to spread it to others. 

TB is a bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs of others when a nearby person with the active disease coughs, sneezes, sings or laughs. People with TB disease are most likely to spread the disease to people they spend time with every day, such as family or other household members, close friends, and coworkers. Signs and symptoms of TB may include a progressively worsening cough that lasts more than two weeks, fatigue, weakness, weight loss, night sweats, fever, chills, and chest pain. TB can affect any bodily organ, but is infectious to others only when it occurs in the lungs or larynx (voice box).

Most people who are infected with the TB bacteria will have a positive TB test, but will never develop symptoms and cannot spread the disease to other individuals. Only people with TB symptoms can spread the disease. TB is not spread by shaking hands, touching, sharing food or drink, utensils, bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes, or saliva from kissing.

TB disease is treatable and curable, usually by taking several medications for 6 to 9 months. About 5 percent to 10 percent of persons infected with TB bacteria will develop the disease at some time in their lives; most within the first two years after the infection occurs.

In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. The bacteria become inactive, but they remain alive in the body and can become active later. This is called latent TB infection. People with latent TB infection cannot spread TB bacteria to others. People who have latent TB infection can be treated to prevent TB disease from developing. 

For additional information on tuberculosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Solar Glasses

    How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Solar Glasses

    Saturday, August 19 2017 9:04 PM EDT2017-08-20 01:04:07 GMT
    Saturday, August 19 2017 9:04 PM EDT2017-08-20 01:04:07 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md.- People in Salisbury question whether or not the solar glasses that are being sold are real or fake. After the Amazon recall of solar viewers some people in Salisbury said they are now hesitant to buy them.Fran Lane of Salisbury said, "YouMore
    SALISBURY, Md.- People in Salisbury question whether or not the solar glasses that are being sold are real or fake. After the Amazon recall of solar viewers some people in Salisbury said they are now hesitant to buy them.Fran Lane of Salisbury said, "YouMore
  • Gold Alert Issued for Delaware Women

    Gold Alert Issued for Delaware Women

    08/19/2017 20:27:00 -04:002017-08-20 00:27:00 GMT
    Saturday, August 19 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-08-20 00:27:06 GMT
    Delaware State Police have issued two Gold Alerts for a Greenwood woman and for a Milford womanMore
    Delaware State Police have issued two Gold Alerts for a Greenwood woman and for a Milford womanMore
  • Fundraiser Held for Survivors of Domestic Violence

    Fundraiser Held for Survivors of Domestic Violence

    Saturday, August 19 2017 5:42 PM EDT2017-08-19 21:42:37 GMT
    Saturday, August 19 2017 5:42 PM EDT2017-08-19 21:42:37 GMT
    PRINCESS ANNE, Md.-On Tuesday, December 6, a mother and two children, were attacked in a Princess Anne home. Airealle Sells, 25, died from wounds during the attack, while her children, an eight year-old and four-year-old, survived. Princess Anne polMore
    PRINCESS ANNE, Md.-On Tuesday, December 6, a mother and two children, were attacked in a Princess Anne home. Airealle Sells, 25, died from wounds during the attack, while her children, an eight year-old and four-year-old, survived. Princess Anne polMore
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gold Alert Issued for Delaware Women

    Gold Alert Issued for Delaware Women

    08/19/2017 20:27:00 -04:002017-08-20 00:27:00 GMT
    Saturday, August 19 2017 8:27 PM EDT2017-08-20 00:27:06 GMT
    Delaware State Police have issued two Gold Alerts for a Greenwood woman and for a Milford womanMore
    Delaware State Police have issued two Gold Alerts for a Greenwood woman and for a Milford womanMore
  • How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Solar Glasses

    How to Tell the Difference Between Real and Fake Solar Glasses

    Saturday, August 19 2017 9:04 PM EDT2017-08-20 01:04:07 GMT
    Saturday, August 19 2017 9:04 PM EDT2017-08-20 01:04:07 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md.- People in Salisbury question whether or not the solar glasses that are being sold are real or fake. After the Amazon recall of solar viewers some people in Salisbury said they are now hesitant to buy them.Fran Lane of Salisbury said, "YouMore
    SALISBURY, Md.- People in Salisbury question whether or not the solar glasses that are being sold are real or fake. After the Amazon recall of solar viewers some people in Salisbury said they are now hesitant to buy them.Fran Lane of Salisbury said, "YouMore
  • 7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    08/18/2017 14:47:00 -04:002017-08-18 18:47:00 GMT
    Friday, August 18 2017 2:53 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:53:31 GMT
    Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)Friday morning's boat fire nearly 14 miles off the Ocean City coast. (Photo credit: Coast Guard Station - Ocean City)
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
    The Coast Guard on Friday morning rescued seven people after the 35-foot boat they were on caught fire nearly 14 miles off the coast of Ocean City.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    7 Rescued After Boat Catches Fire off OC Coast

    A boat in Ocean City caught fire yesterday about 12 miles offshore, and we have some dramatic new video, sent in late last night.

    More

    A boat in Ocean City caught fire yesterday about 12 miles offshore, and we have some dramatic new video, sent in late last night.

    More
  • Dover Comic Con Benefits Local Economy

    Dover Comic Con Benefits Local Economy

    Thousands of people, including a superhero or two, came out to Dover today for the annual Comic Con. The family-run event welcomed people from all over the region to downtown Dover. WBOC's Kylie Winkler was out earlier today to see how the event benefits the town's economy.

    More

    Thousands of people, including a superhero or two, came out to Dover today for the annual Comic Con. The family-run event welcomed people from all over the region to downtown Dover. WBOC's Kylie Winkler was out earlier today to see how the event benefits the town's economy.

    More
  • Dangers of The Solar Eclipse On Our Eyes

    Dangers of The Solar Eclipse On Our Eyes

    If you plan on watching this year's Solar Eclipse, but have yet to purchase your certified safety glasses, you might want to rush to the store. Eye specialists are warning of the serious issues that could result if these warning are taken lightly, issues that are irreversible.

    More

    If you plan on watching this year's Solar Eclipse, but have yet to purchase your certified safety glasses, you might want to rush to the store. Eye specialists are warning of the serious issues that could result if these warning are taken lightly, issues that are irreversible.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices