DENVER – A Denver Health clinic is investigating tuberculosis (TB) exposure at George Washington High School (GWHS) – those who may have been exposed have already been contacted and will be tested.
Someone has reported a case of TB, and it is a person who is part of the GWHS community. Denver Health cannot say if it is a staff member or a student, but the clinic said the person is not at school now and is being treated.
The Tuberculosis Clinic at Denver Health Institute of Public Health (PHIDH) works with the Denver Department of Health and Denver Public Schools to educate teachers and students about tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis is transmitted between people through the air and it usually takes several hours of exposure before a person is at risk of becoming infected. Most people exposed to TB are not infected.
Typical symptoms of tuberculosis are a chronic cough, fever or night sweats. A person who has TB but is not sick can be treated to clear the infection to prevent them from getting sick in the future.
“The development of infection is much longer (for TB),” said Dr. Bill Burman of PHIDH. “COVID-19 developed within four days of exposure. Tuberculosis develops weeks to months later.”
Burman said there is unlikely to be much transmission and he is confident their process will work to identify infections and treatment.
They are in the process of identifying people who may have been exposed and will test those people this week.
“It is important to note that we will have this opportunity to treat anyone who has developed a first infection,” he said. “They are not contagious and we can prevent them from developing active TB.”
Burman said there is no risk of transmission now since the person is not at school. He encouraged people to go to school normally.
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