Health District reports 14 people test positive for tuberculosis at Coronado High School

The Southern Nevada Health District said a total of 14 people from Coronado High School tested positive for tuberculosis after an exposure at the Henderson campus in November.

Those who tested positive had latent infections of TB, meaning they are not ill and the infection is not contagious.

Many with latent TB could have it their whole lives without developing the disease or becoming infected and sick, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC regards TB as “one of the world’s deadliest diseases,” with 9,945 new U.S. cases in 2012.

The Health District began sending letters to exposed individuals at the Henderson school on Nov. 12. The letter said their close, prolonged contact with the infected individual – whom health and school officials won’t identify as a student or staff member – put them at risk for infection, and a blood test is recommended. At-risk students needed parent permission to have their blood drawn.

TB, which usually attacks the lungs, is contracted by breathing in the bacteria directly from the infected person who may be coughing, sneezing or simply speaking. A contagious person will be sick and may even be coughing up blood.

The Health District said it will offer treatment to those infected to make sure the infection doesn’t become active later.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@reviewjournal.com. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.