MENDOCINO CO., 6/14/17 — The following is a press release from Mendocino Health and Human Services. We’ll be following up with more information as it becomes available:
“Mendocino County Public Health has identified an individual associated with Ukiah High School with active tuberculosis (TB). Public Health is partnering with Ukiah High School officials to identify and evaluate students and staff who may have been exposed to TB.
It is important to know that being exposed to TB does not mean that you will become infected with TB or that you will spread TB to others. Only people ill with active TB can spread TB to others. The most common way to become infected with TB is by spending a lot of time with a person with active TB in small enclosed spaces. While the risk of transmission is low, the medical guidance is that those who have been exposed and become infected with the TB bacteria should be treated so they do not develop TB disease.
Dr. Constance Caldwell, Mendocino County Public Health Officer, said, “Our first priority is to protect the health of students and staff at Ukiah High School. We understand that this news can be concerning to parents and the community. The individual with TB is receiving treatment and there is no ongoing risk of TB infection at Ukiah High from this person. Students and staff should participate in their upcoming summer activities as usual.”
A letter was sent to all parents and staff today to let them know about this case of tuberculosis associated with Ukiah High School. A second letter will be mailed within the week to parents and staff who are identified as close contacts to this person. Testing for possible TB will be offered to these individuals, as well as treatment if needed.
“Contact investigations such as this are an important part of the work of Public Health to control the spread of TB. Public Health will offer testing to all close contacts to this individual. Any students and staff who test positive for TB infection will receive further testing and medication to prevent development of active tuberculosis,” says Dr. Charles Evans, Mendocino County TB Controller.
In order to protect their privacy, no specific information about this patient or other individuals who are tested or receive treatment will be released to the media or the public.
Additional information about TB can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm
There will be an informational meeting for parents, students and staff on Monday June 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm at Ukiah High School. Mendocino County Public Health has also opened a phone line for anyone with questions about TB exposure and that number is 707-472-2716.”