Tuberculosis found at Grand Forks elementary schoolA student at Winship Elementary School in Grand Forks was diagnosed with tuberculosis, bringing the total active cases in the area to 16, the North Dakota Department of Health reported Thursday.
By: By Jennifer Johnson, Forum News Service, The Jamestown Sun
A student at Winship Elementary School in Grand Forks was diagnosed with tuberculosis, bringing the total active cases in the area to 16, the North Dakota Department of Health reported Thursday.
The student, who is between 10 and 19 years old, was connected to the original outbreak in October. She did not contract the disease while attending school. For some cases, up to eight weeks can pass before symptoms appear, said John Bernstrom, a spokesman for Grand Forks Public Health.
Parents of children in the classroom were contacted with information about testing, which will take place at the school on Monday. Only children who were in close contact with the infected student will be required for testing, said the state health department.
This marks a difference from previous testing at Phoenix and Valley Middle elementary schools, where some students were diagnosed with the disease in November. Each school had two rounds of testing because health officials couldn’t precisely determine exposure time, said Bernstrom.
Representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention visited here in December and advised officials to wait on testing until after the eight-week mark, he said.
“Now that we’ve got our arms wrapped around it a little bit better, we can really pinpoint the exposure time (at Winship),” Bernstrom said. “We know that we’re beyond that eight-week window.”
The state Department of Health said it is continuing investigations to identify people who may have been exposed to active cases of tuberculosis and expects more cases will be identified.