BCSD, COUNTY HEALTH CONFIRM TB CASE; FREE TESTING FOR THOSE WITH POSSIBLE EXPOSURE

Published by The Bee News

August 3, 2023

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BULLHEAD CITYThe Bullhead City School District was notified Wednesday that one individual previously on the campus of Diamondback Elementary School has tested positive for tuberculosis disease (TB).  The District is working to identify students, staff and visitors who have been potentially exposed.

“We are working closely with the Mohave County Department of Public Health,” Superintendent Carolyn Stewart wrote in a letter to parents and employees.   “We want to ensure that all parents, students, staff and volunteers who may have been exposed between March and June are notified.”

Families received a letter from the District Wednesday afternoon via email addresses on file.  A hard copy with additional information will be sent home with students on Thursday.

The Mohave County Department of Public Health will conduct a free TB testing clinic on Friday, August 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on the Diamondback campus.  This clinic is not open to the general public.  Participation is highly recommended for those who received notification letters.   TB test results must be read within 48 to 72 hours, and Department of Public Health staff members will have a follow-up visit at Diamondback on Monday August 14, as well as with former Diamondback students who are at Bullhead City Middle School this year.  Parents must either be present for the skin test or return a consent form.

There is no charge for the tests.  If an initial test comes back positive, there is no charge for any follow-ups, such as chest x-rays or treatment.

Due to federal privacy laws covered by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), no additional information can be provided about the individual who has tested positive.  That individual is not currently in or at a BCSD school.  (HIPAA keeps medical records secure; FERPA keeps education records private.)

Tuberculosis is an illness caused by bacteria resulting in an infection that typically affects the lungs.  Information from the American Pulmonary Association states, “It is not easy to contract an infection of tuberculosis.”  Usually, a person must have close contact with the infected person for a substantial length of time to get TB.  Casual and limited contact with a person with active TB is not enough for someone to pass it on to others.  Tuberculosis infection and disease can be cured with medication.  More information about TB infection, disease and treatment can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/ .  The Arizona Department of Health Services also has TB information and resources at https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/disease-integration-services/tb-control/#tb-control-patients .  Those with questions may also call the Health Department at 928-718-4932.

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