Thousands tested for TB at Georgia high school

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga (WGCL) — After a student tested positive for tuberculosis, the Gwinnett County Health Department has tested nearly 3,000 people on the campus of Discovery High School. That’s all the students and staff there.

Viola Francis is a student at the high school.

“They tested our whole school for tuberculosis,” she told CBS46 News.

A Discovery High student tested positive for TB in March.

“A few people winded up testing positive. They are even retesting a few of us like if our coach test positive or someone on our team,” Francis said.

The health department originally only tested the 240 people in the closest contact with the student who tested positive. Based on those results, the mass tests were ordered.

Another round of tests were taken Monday.

Francis feels administrators could have communicated more effectively.

“I feel like it was important for the students to know what they needed to look out for, and I feel like that wasn’t brought to our attention.”

According to the CDC, symptoms of tuberculosis include: bad cough, chest pain, and coughing up blood.

Right now, the Gwinnett County Health Department doesn’t have an exact number of tests that have come back positive. For those who did, the next step is a chest ex-ray.

Officials said students or staff who were absent on the days the tests were done must be tested by a medical professional and get the results to the health department by April 19th. Anyone who doesn’t will not be allowed back on campus.

There is still another round of tests to be done. The health department says that because TB has an incubation period that can last anywhere from 2-12 weeks, a patient can have a false-negative result. To make sure there are not any inaccurate results, they plan on retesting the entire student body and staff again in several weeks.

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