When a person with TB of the lung or larynx sneezes, coughs, speaks or sings, they can spread the TB causing bacteria in small air-borne particles.
Guam – Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez tells PNC that it is an employee who works at the Benavente Middle School who tested positive for active Tuberculosis.
Fernandez says the employee is no longer on campus and today, DOE worked with the Department of Public Health and Social Services to identify all close contacts to the individual. The TB screening started this afternoon and now, Fernandez says, they’re expecting the results on Friday. Then based on those results, he explains, if they detect any exposure of TB, they’ll have to expand the screening process. Public Health advises persons exhibiting symptoms of the disease such as a bad cough that lasts longer than two weeks, weakness or fatigue, chills, weight loss, no appetite, fever and night sweats to contact their physician. Exposure to TB does not result in TB disease immediately. It could take anywhere from 2-12 weeks to see evidence of TB infection.
Fernandez explains, “Whenever there is a verification of an active TB case. We are notified by public health, they’re the lead agency. We cooperate with them working with our nurses then the next step involves the screening of close contacts. So if its at the school, they’ll look for employees and students who came in contact with the individual. They’ll do the first screening, which they did today, and get the results by Friday.”
All employee and student contacts who do not submit their TB skin test result by January 8, 2016, will be excluded from work or school. For more information you can call the TB Control Program at 735-7131/157.