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Case of Tuberculosis confirmed at Lake Gibson High School in Polk County | News

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Case of Tuberculosis confirmed at Lake Gibson High School in Polk County

Lakeland, Florida - There is a confirmed case of Tuberculosis at Lake Gibson High School in Polk County.

Now more than one hundred classmates are set to get tested to see if they're infected with the contagious bacterial invection as well.

The Lake Gibson High student, who tested positive for TB on Friday, is now resting and recovering at home.

"We had just finished learning about how it can be kind of scary. I don't want to cough up blood," says student Reginald Laster Jr.

This is the first time since 2007 that a student in Polk County has tested positive for the disease, but is the fifth person so far this year.

"Those at highest risk are those with prolonged exposure; family, close friends and students that shared the same classroom," says Ulyee Choe, Director of FDOH-Polk County.

So the school has sent out an alert to more than 100 high risk students, letting them know that on Wednesday they will be tested as well.

"Some symptoms include chronic chills, chronic cough and coughing up blood," says Dr. Choe.

And while the risk is low of TB being passed to others, some parents are worried.

"That's crazy. They need to test the parents, too. I want a test," says one parent.

TB is treatable and medicines can help a person fully recover. Students who need to be tested will have to have a permission slip signed and the test -- which requires bloodwork -- will take place on Wednesday. Results should be back early next week

On Tuesday, all students, parents, and teachers received information that describes the common symptoms of TB which include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood

Click here for more information on tuberculosis from the CDC.


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