DHEC: 57 at Ninety Six school test positive for TB infection - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DHEC: 57 at Ninety Six school test positive for TB infection

NINETY SIX, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Results were read Monday after a group of students at a Greenwood County school were tested for tuberculosis on Friday, some of whom tested positive for the germ.

Students at Ninety Six Primary School were tested for the infection by Department of Health and Environmental Control nurses on Friday after state health officials announced someone connected to the school tested positive for the disease. Of the 462 people tested, 57 tested positive and 405 tested negative, according to DHEC.

Those whose skin test results were positive were referred for a diagnostic chest x-ray, DHEC said. A DHEC physician will review the x-rays, and DHEC medical staff will contact the individual or child's parents with the results.

According to Greenwood County School District 50, one Ninety Six student who tested positive for the infection came in contact with students and employees of two of District 50's schools, so the district is notifying those schools as a precaution, the district spokesperson said.

Fox Carolina spoke with two mothers who say their children had positive skin tests for the disease. They were not happy that the school district did not immediately inform parents that their children had been exposed to the disease.

"There's a lot of pain and suffering going on, because I've seen a lot of mothers totally upset," said parent Angela Williams.

Williams said she noticed this weekend that the test site had turned into an abrasion on her son's skin and was officially informed Monday by DHEC nurses that he needed further testing.

"I had to leave the school and go to the hospital and get an x-ray of his lungs, me and several other parents," said Williams.

Parent Shena Roundtree said two of her four children tested positive for the germ.

"It's just upsetting to me because I feel like if they knew about it earlier, why wait a couple months after the situation? Let the parents know," said Roundtree.  

While not everyone who comes in contact with TB will get the disease, DHEC spokesman Jim Beasley said they may be infected. If someone is infected with TB, Beasley said it means they've been exposed to the bacteria, and it's laying dormant with the chance of turning into the disease if left untreated.

Beasley said if students' results come back positive for the infection, they may undergo preventative treatment so it will not develop into the disease. He said 5 to 10 percent of people who are infected with TB develops the disease.

The person who tested positive for the disease has not been cooperative, according to DHEC, who issued a Public Health Order last week. The order asks the person with the disease to comply with certain directives, and DHEC said if they don't, they could face arrest. Read the order here.

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