The following is a letter sent to parents, staff and students at Central Catholic High School by the Multnomah County Health Department:
FROM: JENNIFER VINES, M.D., M.P.H. TRI-COUNTY DEPUTY HEALTH OFFICER
JOHN GARROW SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
DATE: November 15, 2011
We are writing to tell you that an individual at Central Catholic High School has tuberculosis (TB). This means some students and staff might have been exposed to TB.
TB is an infection of the lungs. It can be spread through the air when a person who is ill with TB coughs germs into the air. Most people exposed to TB do not become infected, and most of those who are infected never become sick. People can be easily tested for TB by a safe and simple skin test.
The Health Department is recommending testing only for students who may have been exposed. If your child needs testing, you will get another letter telling you what to do. If you do not get another letter, your child is at low risk of exposure and does not need to be tested at this time. If your child has a severe immune system problem such as HIV/AIDS, or is taking medication for cancer treatment, please contact your health provider for additional testing recommendations.
No one, including those students who may have been exposed to TB, has to change plans for Thanksgiving celebrations or travel because of this situation. Most people who have been exposed to TB never become sick. For the small percentage who do become sick, it usually takes several months to many years for TB infection to cause illness and potentially become contagious.
To answer any questions that you may have, Multnomah County Health Department will hold a meeting for staff, parents and students.
WHEN: Tuesday November 22 at 7 pm
WHERE: Central Catholic High School PAC
Please attend this meeting. There will be plenty of time at the meeting for your questions.
If you have questions about the information in this letter, call Multnomah County Health Department Tuberculosis Clinic at (503)-988-3406 or John Garrow at 503-235-3138 ext 104.