The Shorewood/Whitefish Bay Health Department Health Officer, Jamie Berg, has confirmed that a case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has been identified at Whitefish Bay Middle School.
The student is currently being treated, and the Shorewood/Whitefish Bay Health Department is working collaboratively with the Whitefish Bay Middle School to assure that anyone who has been in close contact with the student, or who is at risk of contracting the disease, is being contacted and will be offered free testing and treatment if necessary.
According to Lorna Will, Program Director of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services TB Program, "Catching TB from an infected person is not that easy. Close and continued contact (within 6 feet and several hours) with an infected person is usually required for the spread of the disease."
In Wisconsin, approximately 70 new cases of tuberculosis disease are diagnosed each year. The most common symptoms are chronic cough, fever, sweats and weight loss. Tuberculosis can be cured with a proper regimen of medicine, and contacts who are at risk of developing the disease may also receive medicine to decrease their risk of getting the disease.
For more information about tuberculosis and questions about potential exposure, contact your own health care provider or the Shorewood/Whitefish Bay Health Department at (414) 847-2710, or the State TB Program at (608) 261-6319.
Further information on tuberculosis may be found at http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/tb/ and http://www.cdc.gov/tb/.
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