Health

A positive case of tuberculosis has been detected at Penn Wood Middle School in Darby, Delaware County

A positive case of tuberculosis has been detected at Penn Wood Middle School in Darby, Delaware County

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DARBY, Pa. (WPVI) — The Delaware County Department of Health says a person at Penn Wood Middle School in the William Penn School District has tested positive for tuberculosis.

Officials are working to identify Darby school students and staff who may have been exposed to the disease.

The Department of Health emphasizes that students and staff can continue to actively learn in the school environment as TB is not as contagious as flu and requires prolonged close contact (around at least 15 hours of contact per week) to spread .

“The important first step is to identify the close contacts of the person who has been infected. Those identified as close contacts are being notified by the Department of Health to arrange for testing,” DCHD said in a statement released Monday.

Parents with concerns should call the Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line, available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by phone at (484) 276 – 2100 or by email at [email protected].

Here is more information about TB from the CDC:

Tuberculosis bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. When a person with tuberculosis of the lungs or throat coughs, talks or sings, tuberculosis bacteria can become airborne. People nearby may inhale these bacteria and become infected.

Tuberculosis is NOT spread by:

– shaking someone’s hand

– sharing food or drinks

– touching bedding or toilet seats

– sharing toothbrushes

– kissing

When a person breathes in tuberculosis bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can travel through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, and brain.

Tuberculosis of the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means the bacteria can spread to other people. Tuberculosis in other parts of the body, such as the kidneys or spine, is usually not infectious.

People with TB are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends and colleagues or classmates.

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