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TB tests required for 200 students at Las Vegas high school

The Clark County School District on Thursday told about 200 students that they need to be tested for tuberculosis after a person at a western Las Vegas Valley high school was diagnosed with the disease.

A person at Durango High School had been diagnosed with an active case of tuberculosis, also known as TB, the school district said Wednesday. The district sent a letter to parents from the Southern Nevada Health District to about 200 students on Thursday, saying the students were required to be tested for the disease, a school district spokesman said.

The testing is required by law for everyone “identified as contacts” with the person diagnosed, according to the letter from the health district. Students from “identified classrooms, bus routes, work schedules, etc.” will be tested for free, the letter said.

“Those most at risk for TB infection are those who had close, personal contact with this individual over a period of time,” the letter said.

Some school employees will also be required to have further testing.

The testing is scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday during school hours. The health district will notify parents of their child’s results in one to two weeks after testing, the letter said.

A second round of testing will be scheduled for eight to 10 weeks after the first tests.

“It is important for this testing to occur to keep everyone well,” the letter said.

Parents should complete the testing consent form and health questionnaire, included with the letter, to be turned into the school on Wednesday, the letter said.

The person diagnosed had tuberculosis in the lungs, the letter said. It was unclear Thursday if the person diagnosed was a student or school employee.

“Students and staff are not in immediate danger,” a school district spokesman said Wednesday.

TB in the lungs or throat can be infectious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.

The disease causes coughing, chest pain and bloody mucus in some people, according to American Lung Association. If not treated, tuberculosis can be fatal.

The health district and school district staff were still investigating the diagnosis, according to the letter.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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