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Sacramento County Investigates Tuberculosis Outbreak

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Sacramento County Public health office says it’s still investigating an outbreak of tuberculosis with a high school at its center.

The county says nine people have active cases of tuberculosis, and more than a 100 high school students have a latent infection.

None of those involved is currently contagious, and dozens are being treated. 

Public Health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye says she’s not sure if the first identified case was picked up through travel abroad or from an adult whose latent infection became active.

She says the county started investigating Grant Union High School in March.

“The school nurse noticed that the student was missing school quite a bit, and knew that the student had tested positive in a screening test. So the school nurse called us right away and told us her concern,” says Kasirye.   

The California Department of Public Health says there are other outbreaks in the state.

It says every year about 6-10 outbreaks occur in health care facilities, homeless shelters or schools.

Kasirye says tuberculosis presents as a cough that lasts for more than three weeks.

There is no vaccine in the U.S, but it can be cured with medication.

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