Custer County Health Department investigating tuberculosis in Canute

Health department officials at Canute Schools today

   The Custer County Health Department announced today that it is investigating a case of active tuberculosis (TB) in a student who attended Canute High School.  Health officials confirmed the student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis and state and county health department officials have launched an investigation including providing TB testing of household contacts and other close contacts of the student.

   Parents of students who may have had significant exposure were contacted by school officials today.  These students are recommended to be tested for possible TB infection.  This includes persons who had frequent and/or prolonged indoor contact with the student in instances such as being in specific classrooms or while on trips to sporting events, etc.

   Custer County Health Department was at Canute Schools today to place skin tests on individuals identified as contacts.  The same test will be conducted three months later.  If either test is found to be positive, a medical evaluation and chest x-ray is conducted by public health officials.  Preventative medication may be prescribed to an individual with a positive skin test to reduce their risk of developing active TB disease.

   Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria which usually affects the lungs, but other parts of the body can be affected.  It can be spread to others who share the same air space.  Symptoms may include feeling weak or sick, weight loss, fever and night sweats.  A person with TB disease may have a cough, chest pain, and/or coughing up blood. 

   Persons who have not been contacted by the county health department do not need to be tested.  However, if you are concerned or do not know whether a significant exposure occurred, contact Custer County Health Department at (580) 323-2100.  General information concerning tuberculosis can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at: www.ok.gov/health.  

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