WESTLAKE, Ohio— Officials with the Westlake City School District alerted parents and students on Thursday morning that a member of the Westlake High School community had contracted tuberculosis.
According to Westlake City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Dan Kennan, the Cuyahoga County Tuberculosis Program told school officials the individual tested positive at the TB Clinic at MetroHealth Medical Center.
The TB positive individual was diagnosed over the winter break and has not returned to the high school since that time.
TB testing for all Westlake High School students and employees has been made available as a precaution.
"They didn't feel it was required. It could be done voluntarily. We did opt to do that," said Dr. Kennan.
TB skin tests will be offered on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.in the Westlake Schools Performing Arts Center lobby. The test will be conducted by nurses from the Cuyahoga County TB Program.
The tests will be read 48 hours after placement on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., also in the Performing Arts Center lobby.
The TB Clinic advised school administrators that the risk of contracting the bacterial infection is extremely low. In addition, the clinic told the high school that it did not need to close.
The risk to the rest of the district was even smaller because the person involved had no access to the other buildings.
According to the CDC, TB bacteria usually attack the lungs, but the bacteria can attack any part of the body.
The CDC says that if not treated properly, TB bacteria can be fatal.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. It is not spread by shaking hands, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes or kissing.
*For more information on Tuberculosis, or to read the Westlake City School District's response to the case, look under the related items next to this story.