Carroll student gets positive result from TB skin test

March 25, 2004|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

One of the 65 students tested for tuberculosis at Carroll Community College in Westminster this week had a positive result yesterday and might be carrying the germ that causes the contagious disease.

A positive skin test does not mean the student has the infectious tuberculosis that has led to the quarantining of a classmate and prompted the testing at the two-year school in Westminster. A chest X-ray of the student will be taken to determine whether the disease is present, and the student might be placed on an antibiotic regimen as a precaution.

The Carroll County Health Department informed the college administration last week that a part-time pre-nursing student had received a diagnosis of infectious TB.

Nurses administered the free skin tests Monday and Tuesday to 65 students and two teachers who had shared classroom space with the infected student. The screening of test results yesterday turned up one positive result and will continue on the campus today.

TB, a communicable disease caused by a bacterial infection, usually attacks the lungs. People contract the illness by inhaling airborne germs released from the lungs or throat of an infected person, according to the American Lung Association. Only those in frequent, prolonged contact in shared air space are at risk of contracting the disease. TB can be treated and cured if the patient follows the prescribed treatment.

In another tuberculosis-related incident, all 325 pupils and 48 staff members at Rosemont Elementary School in Baltimore were tested for the disease this week after a Coppin State College education student who had observed classes at the school in the fall was found to have TB.

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