Montgomery school student tests positive for tuberculosis

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Public School Superintendent Barbara Thompson confirmed Wednesday that a student in the school system has tested positive for tuberculosis, an infectious bacterial disease.

The system is reporting a single case of pulmonary tuberculosis at Jeff Davis High School. No additional information on the student is available.

The disease, which usually attacks the lungs but can infect any part of the body, can be fatal if not treated properly. The illness can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

The health department says there is a low risk of the illness spreading, but testing at the school will take place in the next week.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB does not spread from the shaking of hands, sharing of food or drinks, touching of bed linens/toilet seats, sharing of tooth brushes or kissing.

A simple skin test will be done on the students and staff at the school next Tuesday. Health officials say even if the test comes back positive, that does not mean the person has an active case of tuberculosis.

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