Tuberculosis case reported in someone affiliated with Syracuse City School District

Tuberculosis reported in someone affiliated with Syracuse City School District (MGN Online)

A case of active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has been reported in an individual affiliated with the Public Service Leadership Academy (PSLA) at Fowler High School, according to Onondaga County health officials.

Dr. Indu Gupta announced the case on Tuesday afternoon.

“While TB is less common than it once was, it still remains a public health concern. Anyone can contract the disease after exposure to an active TB case. It is treatable and curable by specific antibiotics treatment," Gupta said.

The Onondaga County Health Department is working collaboratively with the Syracuse City School District to identify and screen those who may have been exposed. The school sent a robo call to parents regarding the case. Those who may have been exposed to this individual should be evaluated for their symptoms and should be tested for any evidence of TB.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, TB is one of the world's deadliest diseases. One-third of the world's population is infected with it. In 2015, 10.4 million people around the world became sick with TB. And it is the leading killer of people who are HIV infected. A total of 9,557 TB cases were reported in the United States in 2015. From 2013 to 2014, TB cases and rates have been on the decline in New York state, according to the state Department of Health. In 2014, Onondaga County saw a total of 10 cases.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is an airborne bacterial infection that primarily affects the lungs. It is spread when an infected person coughs, speaks, laughs, sings or sneezes into the air and the germs are inhaled by others. Symptoms include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Feelings of weakness or lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Night sweats.

Active TB can take several months after infection to develop.

The Onondaga County Health Department said will continue to monitor the situation.

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