Tuberculosis discovered at high school

  • Concord School District Building Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 10/13/2021 5:30:43 PM

Concord School District is planning an online community meeting after officials discovered an active case of tuberculosis at Concord High School this week.

Interim superintendent Kathleen Murphy notified families Wednesday that the NH Department of Health and Human Services identified a positive case of tuberculosis (TB) in a person who was present in the Concord High School building. According to a letter sent from the NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control to the district Tuesday, the infected person is no longer at the school, but if students or staff have had prolonged contact with this person since the start of the school year Sept. 1, they may have been exposed to the bacteria that causes TB.

TB is an infectious disease that is spread in the air by coughing or singing or shouting, according to NH Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. People who inhale air containing TB bacteria can become infected, although not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. A person who is infected but does not show any symptoms has what is called a “latent” TB infection, are not infectious and cannot spread TB to others.

Concord High School is currently working with the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control to identify anyone who may have had contact with the person with TB.

Tuberculosis causes symptoms such as persistent cough, fever, chills, fatigue or unexplained weight loss, according to the CDC.

“The District is planning an online community meeting facilitated by (Dr. Elizabeth Talbot) and/or (Dr. James Noble), both infectious disease doctors, to provide information and answer questions,” Murphy wrote. “We will send a follow-up as soon as details of this meeting are confirmed.”

Just one day before the TB case was announced, the district announced plans to begin with pooled testing for COVID-19 at Rundlett Middle School in an attempt to control a coronavirus outbreak that resulted from two clusters in grades six and seven this week.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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