FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Denton County Health Department & Denton Independent School District Public Health Contact: Sarah McKinney, (940) 349-2918, cell: (940) 465-4939 Denton ISD Contact: Sharon Cox, (940) 369-0006 For release on Oct. 20, 2011 Denton High School TB Chest X-Ray Update The Denton County Health Department has received the results of the chest X-rays of the Denton High School students and staff, and all show no sign of active tuberculosis (TB). This means there are no new suspect TB cases, and no indication of a school-based outbreak of TB. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Denton County Health Department administered TB skin tests to approximately 270 Denton High School students and staff at the school. Health Department staff returned Thursday, Oct. 13, to read the tests. As anticipated, an extremely small number of positive reactors (less than 5 percent) were identified from the readings. On average, a 7 percent positive reaction would be expected with TB skin testing. Because of the minimal number of positive reactors and to protect the privacy of the individuals, the exact results were not released. Additionally, health officials noted that several close contacts of the initial suspect TB case had negative skin test results. A positive reaction to a TB skin test only shows that the individual has been exposed to TB at some point, but does not indicate whether or not the individual has active TB. Individuals with a positive reaction were referred to the next step in the testing process, which was the chest X-ray. In addition, preventive medications will be offered for those with positive reactions to the skin test. Those with a negative reaction will be re-tested in 8 to 10 weeks in order to confirm the negative result. This will be done as a precautionary measure, following standard procedure. Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease that affects the lungs, and can also affect other parts of the body. The symptoms of TB include a persistent cough, chest pain, feeling weak, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. TB is spread through repeated and prolonged exposure to an infected person. There are two types of TB: those with latent TB infection (LTBI) have been exposed to the germs that cause TB, but do not get sick or show symptoms. Individuals with LTBI are not contagious, because the germs are not active. However, those who get sick with TB disease have active TB germs, typically experience symptoms of the disease, and are considered contagious. Both types of TB are treated with medication and the outcome is almost always very favorable. Only those with close and prolonged exposure (6 hours or greater) to an individual with active TB are considered at risk for TB. Skin testing is not recommended for people without known exposure to TB; in this instance, if the person does not have close contact with the suspect case. Additional information on TB can be found by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/TB. For updated local information, please visit www.dentoncounty.com/health or www.dentonisd.org.