Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) confirmed on December 19, 2007 that one student at North Shore Senior High School tested positive for tuberculosis (TB). North Shore Senior High School serves 1,957 students in grades 11-12.
TB is generally spread through the air from one person to another by sneezing, coughing, speaking or singing. Persons who breathe in the air containing these TB germs can become infected. Typically, only close contacts such as family members, friends, classmates and co-workers are considered to be at risk. However, TB can be prevented and treated effectively with appropriate medications.
The student who was infected has finished the course of treatment and has made a full recovery and has been cleared to return to school.
Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services will perform TB skin tests on 175 students and those staff members who have had the most contact with the infected student during the fall semester. Those skin tests will be administered on Monday, January 14 and the results will be read on Wednesday, January 16.
Letters to parents, along with an informational packet about TB, were passed out by the principal to those students who were selected to be tested on Monday, January 7. The principal delivered a letter to students who were not selected to be tested on Tuesday, January 8.
There is no follow-up necessary for those whose test is negative. Any student or staff member showing a positive TB skin test should have a chest x-ray and physician evaluation to discuss possible treatment options. Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services TB Program can also provide possible treatment options.
The contact number for Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services is (713) 439-6214 should you have any specific questions about TB or the testing process.