Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Tuberculosis case reported at Parkdale High

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Faculty, staff and parents of Parkdale High School students were notified Monday that someone at the school had been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

‘‘An individual at Parkdale was found to be positive for tuberculosis,” said Erin Bradley, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County Health Department.

Parkdale and the Health Department sent a joint letter Monday letting faculty, staff, students and their parents know that someone in the school was infected with TB and a second letter to people who were determined to have been in close contact with that person.

‘‘In order to be at risk, you have to be in close contact with that individual,” Bradley said. ‘‘[So that would be] anyone within one to two feet, for a prolonged period of time, like eight hours, and in a closed environment like a car or even a classroom.”

At-risk individuals will be able to take a free TB test at Parkdale sometime next week, Bradley said.

Officials at the school had no comment on the situation.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacteria that often attacks the lungs, but can affect any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. It is spread through the air and if not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.