Parents worried about TB diagnosis at Memphis school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents worried about TB diagnosis at Memphis school

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis City Schools student was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis, leaving parents on edge.

Like many Westwood High parents, Lacrisha Mathis is worried about TB at her child's school.

"I know it's very contagious and it's also airborne, so I'm concerned," she said.

Parents of Westwood High are being notified by the Memphis Shelby County Health Department about student at the school who contracted the disease sometime during the summer.

"We've sent out letters to start with, just notifying them there is a problem and we're going to be working with the school to fond out who this patient was exposed to," Dr. Francis Fountain said.

Fountain said only students who came in close contact with the infected student will have to be tested.  There's no reason to panic, Fountain added, because student at Westwood High who contracted the illness is no longer contagious.

"You don't need to be terrified because TB is curable 95 percent of the time," Fountain said.

Wednesday, a Memphis City School spokesperson said in a statement, "Memphis City Schools is working with the Shelby County Health Department and following their recommendations and leadership regarding this issue.  The Health Department, as with all confirmed communicable diseases is guiding us through this process.  Thankfully, the person involved has been treated and has been medically cleared to return to school."

But that wasn't comforting to parents like Mathis.

"You don't know who he had direct contact with. You can only assume," she said. "They all meet in front of the school and gang out together so you can't say who he had direct contact with."

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