Kay County Health Investigating TB Case in Liberty Elementary

Mike Seals - April 5, 2021 10:02 pm

The Ponca City Public School District has been informed that a Liberty Elementary student has tested positive for tuberculosis (TB).

The school district is cooperating fully with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Kay County Health Department. The health and safety of students is the district’s highest priority, and school officials will be working collaboratively with both agencies as they conduct their investigation.

The Kay County Health Department announced today that it is investigating a case of active tuberculosis (TB) in a student who attends Liberty Elementary School. Health officials confirmed the student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis and state and county health department officials have initiated an investigation including providing TB testing of household contacts and other close contacts to the student.

Letters were sent and phone calls were made on April 5, 2021 to school staff and to parents of students who may have had significant exposure and who are recommended to be tested for possible TB infection. This includes persons who had frequent and/or prolonged indoor contact with the student in instances such as being in specific classrooms or while on trips to sporting events, etc. Individuals identified as contacts will receive a skin test upon initial notification followed by the same test three months later. If either test is found to be positive, a medical evaluation and chest x-ray is conducted by public health officials. Preventive medication may be prescribed to an individual with a positive skin test to reduce their risk developing active TB disease.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria which usually affects the lungs, but other parts of the body can be affected. It can be spread to others who share the same air space. Symptoms may include feeling weak or sick, weight loss, fever and night sweats. A person with TB disease may have a cough, chest pain, and/or coughing up blood.

Persons who have not been contacted by the county health department do not need to be tested. However, if you are concerned or do not know whether a significant exposure occurred, contact the Kay County Health Department at (580) 762-1641. General information concerning tuberculosis can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at: www.ok.gov/health.

 

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