ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A person has tested positive for active tuberculosis at Hollenbeck Middle School, according to St. Charles County’s Department of Public Health.
The department did not say whether the person was a student, teacher or faculty member.
Health officials are working with the school to identify students and staff who may have been exposed to the illness. Officials will be testing close contacts on-site at the school, but students must have a parent’s permission to be tested.
The health department said it will notify close contacts and that the public should not be concerned.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is spread through the air from one person to another during prolonged, repeated, and close contact with a person who is infected with active tuberculosis. People are most likely to spread it to those they spend time with every day. It’s not spread by shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats.
Symptoms include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, chest pain, coughing up blood or phlegm from deep inside the lungs. Other symptoms include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, fever, and sweating at night.
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick.
St. Charles County residents who wish to be tested for TB can call the health department at 636-949-7484 to make an appointment. The cost is $20.