NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A case of tuberculosis has been confirmed in a Pasco County School.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County is with Pasco County Schools to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with the infected individual for extended periods of time.
The health department says that they are contacting all involved parties to make sure those who may need it, receive testing. As a precaution a letter informing parents and employees at impacted locations is being distributed and includes information about TB signs and symptoms.
"When we respond to public health events, we need to follow established protocols"; says County Health Officer, Mike Napier. "Working with Pasco County Schools and parents in this process is key to successfully protecting everyone's health."
Tuberculosis is a highly contagious illness. TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. The TB droplets are put into the air when the infected person coughs, speaks, or sings. People with close contact may breathe in these bacteria and could become infected.
Symptoms of TB can include a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, pain in the chest and coughing up blood. Other symptoms can include weakness or fatigue, weight loss, fever, sweating at night, chills and no appetite.
TB is NOT spread by shaking someone's hand, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes or kissing.