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Students to be tested for tuberculosis exposure at Gwinnett school

The Gwinnett County Health Department confirmed a case of the disease at Discovery High School last week.
Credit: WXIA

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — About 226 faculty and students at Discovery High School will be tested for tuberculosis after they came in contact with a confirmed case at the school.

Last week, the school was informed by the Gwinnett County Health Department that a student had been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

On Friday, Gwinnett County Public Schools sent a letter to parents of the affected students informing them of the risk and that health department staff will be at Discovery this week to conduct a skin test.

RELATED: Tuberculosis disease confirmed in two elementary schools

In the test, a small amount of an inert extract from the bacteria is injected under the skin. If a person has been infected or has been immunized, this injection will cause a reaction within 48 hours.

Officials will return to the school to read the test results on Friday.

According to the DPH, Georgia averages around 300 cases of TB infection every year and TB is typically found in places where people are in close contact for long periods of time, like correctional facilities, homeless shelters and schools.  

The bacteria is airborne and can be spread through a persistent, painful cough. The disease can be deadly, particularly among those with weakened immune systems, but it is generally treated by a 6-9 month course of medications.

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