Ind. health officials investigating TB cases in Clark and Floyd counties

The Indiana State Department of Health says there has been an increase in the number of positive tuberculosis tests related to the student at Rock Creek Community Academy in Clark County who was confirmed to have TB.

The student was diagnosed on May 28 and tested positive. The student has been isolated and is responding to treatment.

So far, 738 people have been tested and 85 had positive skin tests for TB. They are receiving antibiotics so they don't develop the disease and cannot spread it to others.

“The Indiana State Department of Health continues to investigate this situation and we want Hoosiers to know that we are offering testing to everyone who has been in close contact of the patient,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “We want to quickly identify anyone who may have been exposed so we can provide immediate, effective treatment to prevent infection.”

TB is an airborne disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. TB bacteria are released into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is not spread by:
•    Shaking someone's hand
•    Sharing food or drink
•    Touching bed linens or toilet seats
•    Sharing toothbrushes
•    Kissing

“We want to ensure the best possible health for Hoosiers,” said Dr. Adams. “Unfortunately, TB can affect anyone and the best way to stop it is to quickly identify individuals with active infections and provide them with the medical care they need to treat their infections.”

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