Tuberculosis testing Monday for Moss Point students

Published 10:54 pm Saturday, November 11, 2006

Students at Moss Point High will be tested Monday for tuberculosis, according to state health officials.

The state Department of Health would not say Thursday how many cases there may be of individuals infected with the air-borne disease. Officials said there may be more than one.

“The Mississippi Department of Health is working in conjunction with Moss Point High School in identifying individuals who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis,” Mike Holcombe, director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis and Refugee Health, said.

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A letter from the district went out to parents Wednesday, though it had little information.

Further details will not be released until possible cases are determined to be positive, said Myya Robinson, spokeswoman for the Moss Point School District.

“We were informed that a person had a possible case … that person is not at the school,” Robinson said, though she would not elaborate on whether the person was a teacher, student or otherwise.

It is safe to come to school, she said.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include persistent coughing for two weeks or longer, weight loss and night sweats, Holcombe said.

Usually, it is caused by a bacterial infection in the lungs, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, but it can attack other parts of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.

A skin test is the easiest and least invasive way to detect tuberculosis.