Norfolk Student Tests Positive for Tuberculosis

MGN Online
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NORFOLK, Neb.-- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services confirmed a Norfolk student contracted Tuberculosis, a potentially deadly lung infection.

10/11's radio partner US-92 first broke the story.

DHHS told the news to parents and the public Wednesday night in a public meeting.

Health officials notified the school district about the positive test on Friday, and parents learned what this means for their kids and families.

State confidentiality statutes require them to keep the identity of people (and anything that could lead to their identity) confidential.

DHHS said TB is potentially deadly if it goes untreated, but, that it also has a very low incident rate in the state.

They said it's not like the flu, and that a person would need prolonged exposure to the bacteria before they contracted it.

It is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food/drink or kissing, according to the DHHS, but by breathing in the bacteria.

But, they said there are now only two active cases in Nebraska. There were 21 cases in the state in 2013 and 22 in 2012.

Common symptoms include a bad cough lasting longer than three weeks, pain in the chest and coughing up blood.

DHHS said that if anyone believes they've been infected, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately. It's also important to inform your doctor or nurse about where you may have contracted the disease.

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