Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified a patient with tuberculosis at Monadnock Regional High School. After initial investigation, Public Health has determined that some students may have been exposed to the tuberculosis bacterium and they have been notified of the exposure. Public Health personnel will be testing approximately 30 individuals next week.
“Tuberculosis is generally difficult to spread from one person to another and requires prolonged contact,” said Dr. Jose Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “but because the student had symptoms while attending school we felt it necessary to test a number of the student’s close contacts to make sure no on else has become infected.” Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that usually infects the lungs but can manifest itself in any area of the body. It is treatable with an extended course of medications. Tuberculosis is usually spread through coughing by the infected person, which causes the bacteria to become airborne. The symptoms of active tuberculosis include coughing, night sweats, fever, and weight loss.
“Our public health division has conducted a thorough investigation and we want to assure people that there is no risk to the general public or the majority of staff and students at the school,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “The testing next week is a routine step in a tuberculosis investigation and we are confident we have identified all potential exposures.”
For more information about tuberculosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov, the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov, or call the safety NH DHHS Communicable Disease Control Section at 1-603-271-4496 or 1-800-852-3345 x4496.
Attachment: Tuberculosis Fact Sheet