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April 30, 2013

Troy High School students tested for TB

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

Students at Troy High School underwent tests for tuberculosis last week after a student tested positive for the disease.

Kerry Birmingham, community and media relations director for the district, said the student who tested positive had not been in school for several weeks before the Oakland County Health Division informed them of the test result.

“The student is not un-enrolled, but not currently at school,” Birmingham said.

No other students had tested positive at press time, Birmingham added.

“Today’s testing went incredibly smoothly and the initial results were reassuring,” Troy High School principal Mark Dziatczak said in an April 24 email to parents. 

“You may hear about a handful of individuals who were referred for further testing. This is not uncommon. The Oakland County Health Division says that advice was given for a number of reasons, most likely past exposure to TB during an individual’s lifetime. Health Division experts tell us there is nothing to suggest any additional risk to our students or staff at this time.”

“Our students have been fabulous,” Birmingham said in reference to those students who were tested. “We’ve had great cooperation from the parents and community.”

According to Kathy Forzley, health officer for the Oakland County Health Division, tuberculosis is a treatable disease spread by germs that are transmitted person to person through close exposure to droplets from coughing or sneezing. The disease is not spread through casual contact, but by repeated exposure in close proximity among family members, close friends and co-workers. It is not spread by contact in large open areas or by handling an ill person’s eating utensils, books or furniture.

TB symptoms may include: coughing up blood or sputum, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pain, a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, sweating at night and chills/fever.

For more information, visit the Oakland County Health Division's website at www.oakgov.com/health.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.