Troy University is working with the Alabama Department of Public Health after pulmonary tuberculosis was identified in a student enrolled at the main campus on Wednesday.
Testing for the infectious and treatable disease started Thursday. Officials have started identifying and notifying individuals who are enrolled in the same classes as the unidentified student as well as faculty and staff who may have been in close contact with the individual. They will be rapidly assessed and appropriate preventive measures will be taken, according to ADPH officials. ADPH defines “close contact” as spending an extended amount of time with the infected person in a physically close space.
Pulmonary Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that attacks the lungs, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said. Symptoms include a cough lasting three weeks or longer, pain in chest and coughing up blood. Other symptoms include chills, fever and night sweats. TB is partly preventable by a vaccine.
Burnestine Taylor, ADPH medical officer for disease control and prevention, said the department will communicate with the university to keep students, faculty and administration informed.
“We are working very closely with the university to develop and implement a screening plan,” Taylor said. “As with any identified case of tuberculosis in Alabama, ADPH will implement precautionary testing, investigation and control measures.”
ADPH advises that only those who have been in close contact with the individual need to be tested.