Update on Testing for Tuberculosis at Olathe Northwest High School

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Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Health and Environment report that out of the 314 individuals tested for tuberculosis at Olathe Northwest High School on Oct. 12 and Nov. 14, six people have tested positive for TB infection.

Health officials have called those with positive TB infection test results, and letters were mailed to the homes of those with negative test results (no infection). Anyone with questions about their results can call the JCDHE TB phone line at 913-477-8320.

People with latent TB infection are not contagious, do not feel sick and do not have TB symptoms. People with active TB disease can spread the bacteria to others, feel sick and can have symptoms including fever, night sweats, cough and weight loss.

Individuals with positive test results will be offered a chest x-ray and treatment to kill the TB bacteria with antibiotics to prevent the development of active TB disease. The treatment time frame can take anywhere from 3-9 months to complete. The individuals who have tested positive are asymptomatic, and JCDHE will continue to follow up with them.

“Early identification and treatment of TB infection is the best way to prevent any progression to active TB disease,” said Charlie Hunt, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “Throughout this investigation, JCDHE has worked closely with the school and KDHE to ensure that all precautions are being taken for the safety of everyone in the school and the community.”

For more information about TB, visit the CDC, JCDHE or KDHE's webpages on Tuberculosis.

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