2 TB cases reported at Jacksonville high school

Officials say 100 students, 6 staff from Jackson High identified for testing


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Duval County is investigating two cases of active tuberculosis at Andrew Jackson High School.

School officials, as well as families of attending students, have been notified and are participating in the investigation, according to FDOH.

Approximately 100 students and six staff from the school have been identified for testing. Health officials said those individuals exposed are being medically evaluated and will be offered therapy, if found infected.

The investigation was initiated following the recent hospitalization, and release, of one student with active TB, officials said.

Meeting next Thursday

A parent information meeting has been scheduled at the school for next Thursday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. with the Health Department. Representatives will be available to answer any questions parents and students may have.

"We appreciate the speed in which the school district and our health department came together to respond to these cases," said Dr. Kelli Wells, director of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. "These initial steps are an important part of the public health process to ensure the health and safety of the students and staff of Andrew Jackson Senior High."

"We have been pleased with the diligence and responsiveness of the Health Department in this investigation," said Nikolai P. Vitti, superintendent, Duval County Public Schools. "We will follow all of the procedures and protocols they identify to contribute to the well-being of our students and staff."

What is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs spread from person to person in close contact through the air. Health officials say TB germs are put in the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Those who breathe in the air containing TB germs can become infected.

TB usually affects the lungs, yet may also affect other parts of the body. Health officials say symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood.

TB is diagnosed by a skin test or blood test, administered by your health care provider or local health department. A positive test usually means the person has been infected with the TB germ, however, health officials said it does not necessarily mean the person has active TB disease.

Additional tests, such as an X-ray or sputum sample are needed to determine if the person has active TB disease. TB can be easily cured through proper medical treatment, officials said.

Click to view frequently asked questions about tuberculosis, and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information.