DOH: College student with tuberculosis not highly infectious
The state Department of Health has completed its contact investigation for tuberculosis that began in March after a student attending Hawaii Pacific University and Kapiolani Community College was diagnosed with the active TB disease.
As of Wednesday, no new related cases of active TB disease have been identified. Two students were found to have latent TB infection, which is the inactive and non-contagious form of TB. Both students were offered treatment.
"Our investigation has shown that this patient was not highly infectious," said Dr. Richard Brostrom, chief of the DOH Tuberculosis Control Branch. "We appreciate the cooperation of the students and faculty that were potentially exposed, as well as our successful collaboration with the two colleges."
Health officials said both HPU and KCC worked very closely with them to provide notification and follow-up to those who may have been exposed. Emails were sent immediately to a total of 210 students and faculty who shared the same classroom with the ill student to inform them of the exposure and the need to be tested for TB. Of those, 108 reported for evaluation.
The DOH conducted a total of eight days of testing on campus at both institutions at no cost to those exposed. Reminder phone calls were made prior to the testing events. People who did not take advantage of the testing on campus received another phone call and a letter by postal mail or delivered in class with instructions to report for TB testing.
Those notified who have not completed their evaluation, but still want to be screened, should call 832-3539 to make arrangements for TB testing at no cost at the DOH TB Control Branch located at the Lanakila Health Center.
For more information on TB go to http://hawaii.gov/health/family-child-health/contagious-disease/tb/faq.html
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