Case of TB at City

Veronica Eissa

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A student on campus is diagnosed with having Tuberculosis, a highly contagious and dangerous disease, the Student Health Services department announced.

The discovery was reported by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, who contacted City College just before Thanksgiving Break.

The unidentified student has been the only report so far, stated the announcement. Student Health Services working closely with the County has been able to reach the staff and many students who were in immediate contact with the Tuberculosis-active individual.

“Tuberculosis is not uncommon in San Diego. It was reported that last year 280 people were infected in San Diego County and more than 150 people this year”, the announcement reported.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a bacteria-forming disease, which thrives in oxygen and blood rich areas making the lungs a perfect place to develop. This is called Pulmonary TB, the most common form seen.

According to the County of San Diego Human and Health Services Agency web site, Tuberculosis, is highly contagious because it spreads easily through the air. If a person is infected with TB all they have to do is breath near another person to pass on the bacteria. It is done much easier if the infected person sneezes, coughs or laughs.

A productive cough, many times with thick and bloody mucus, is one of the widely known symptoms of this disease. Other recognizable symptoms include a high fever, night sweats, chills, rapid heartbeat, tiredness, swelling of the neck or lymph nodes and chest pain.

Many already carry the bacteria and are not aware. The first step in determining if the disease is present is to have a medical provider administer a skin test. If the skin test has a positive reaction then a chest x-ray is ordered to determine if the disease has become active.

Although many will test positive with a skin test it doesn’t necessarily mean the person has active TB, the person can be a carrier and the disease be in a dormant state, also known as latent TB.

The Student Health Services announcement strongly encourages students to get screened. There are different options and resources for students to get information. Students can walk into the Health Services department located in Building A-116 or call 619-388-3450.

Another option is to contact a primary healthcare provider and request a Tuberculin test. If a student does not have a healthcare provider, a skin test can be administered by contacting the local San Diego County Public Health Center. For information on locations and schedules students can call 619-692-5565.

If a healthcare provider needs to contact the San Diego County with information on the results it is advised they contact Gabriela Abenojar of the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency at 619-692-5754.

It is important for students to identify themselves as part of the City College screening when requesting a skin test in any of the sites.

For additional information on Tuberculosis log on to the San Diego County’s web site at www.sandiegotbcontrol.org.

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