Tuberculosis case at Las Vegas elementary school raises concerns for parents

Tuberculosis case at Las Vegas elementary school raises concerns for parents

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Concerns rise for parents at a local elementary school after they received a letter saying a person at the school was diagnosed with an active case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

On Tuesday, Helen Jydstrup Elementary School principal, Christina Miani announced that the Southern Nevada Health District will be conducting testing of students and faculty in identified classes starting Thursday.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that is spread through the air and can cause serious health concerns, according to Dr. David Di John who specializes in pediatric infectious disease.

“It tends to be more severe in young children. Especially infants and those less than four years old. But it can be severe in anyone,” John said.

According to John said the most important thing in a situation like this is early detection.

“When you have an outbreak situation or a case in a school then you really have to be more careful. You have to find out about risk factors in individuals, you have to do testing, and you have to let patients know,” John said.

The Southern Nevada Health District is charged with ensuring the community’s safety and making sure those exposed get notified and tested.

“For those people who received the individualized letters saying that they were exposed, going and getting that testing done as soon as possible is highly recommended. Because it is a blood test the results take a couple of days. We will contact people with their results regardless of whether they are positive or negative,” Haley Blake Communicable Disease Supervisor at SNHD said.

John said to look for these symptoms, even if vaccinated.

“Can develop a cough, a fever, or other more severe symptoms like night sweats, losing weight, just kind of feeling lousy, and if you’ve been exposed you probably need to see your health care provider and be tested,” John said.

The Clark County School District has not said whether it was a student or an adult that was diagnosed with TB however the school does plan on testing students again in March.

If you or your child start showing any of the symptoms of TB, you are encouraged to get a TB test right away.

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