Student at Indio High School tests positive for tuberculosis

INDIO, Calif. - An Indio High School student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis and county health officials are working with high school administration and the district office to contact those who might have been exposed to the illness. 

The student attended Indio High School from September through the middle of November. The student is currently not attending school but is expected to make a full recovery, according to officials with the school district.

The entire student body is receiving a letter from Indio High School Principal Rudy Ramirez explaining the situation. Those students and staff members who are identified as being potentially exposed will receive a written notice mailed to them from the Riverside County Department of Public Health. As a precautionary measure, the health department is recommending anyone who receives the notice to be screened during a TB clinic which will be planned at the school.

For students not identified as being potentially exposed, parents may opt to obtain the TB skin test with their family physician or at the Indio Family Care Center on Oasis Street. There may be a charge for this service.

Some of the symptoms of TB include:

- Coughing with sputum (an infectious bacterial disease) for more than 3-4 weeks.
- Coughing up blood.
- Pain in the chest when breathing.
- Unexplained loss of appetite or weight loss.
- Fever with night sweats for more than three weeks.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer for Riverside County, is urging those parents who receive the notification from the health department of potential exposure to get their children tested. There is no cost to take part in the planned TB clinic at the school and it takes only a few minutes.

"It is a simple process and can provide peace of mind," Kaiser said.

Principal Ramirez emphasized that the school is following the county's protocol on this matter and that the safety of the students is their number one concern.

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