Public Health Department confirms tuberculosis case at Taylor school

TAYLOR, Mich. – Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness confirmed there was one case of tuberculosis at Randall Elementary School in Taylor.

The child has been isolated and is no longer at the school.

"We are currently working with the school to determine who is at risk so people who spent the most time with the student," said Dr. Ruta Sharangpani. "There may be some students who need to be tested."

The elementary student was diagnosed with tuberculosis has been hospitalized. County health officials were informed, but many grandparents and parents picking up their kids Friday afternoon were unaware. 

While tuberculosis is difficult to catch, it is still a contagious airborne disease. It can only be transmitted by droplets, not by touching surfaces like with the flu. 

The medical director says some students may be tested next week as a precaution. 

"It's very concerning," said a grandparent. "My granddaughter goes there and I don't want her getting sick. I don't want any kid getting sick."

A letter from the Wayne County was given to parents and guardians of students. The full text is available below.

A student at Clarence Randall Elementary School was recently diagnosed with active Tuberculosis disease. Others may have been exposed to Tuberculosis during this school year.

Tuberculosis (TB) disease is caused by bacteria called mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually attacks the lungs but can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. TB bacteria are released into the air when someone who is ill with Tuberculosis disease coughs, laughs, sings, speaks or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected. These bacteria can sometimes remain in the air for a few hours, especially in small confined places with no fresh air or sunlight. Individuals that did not have prolonged contact with the sick person, in a confined area, have a low likelihood of becoming infected with Tuberculosis.

Note that individuals cannot get Tuberculosis from shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or drink, sharing toothbrushes or school supplies, kissing or touching bed linens or toilet seats.

Wayne County Health Department staff will be at the school to perform tuberculosis skin tests on those who are determined to be at highest risk of contact. A Separate consent form is being sent to those parents. If your child is not in the ‘high-risk group’, but you want him/her tested, please contact your private physician or Wayne County TB clinic.

If you choose to use the Wayne County TB clinic, identify yourself as a Clarence Randall School student. 

The Wayne County TB clinic is operated by Beaumont Hospital and a $20.00 fee is charged for TB skin testing at the time of service. 

Thank you for your cooperation.

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