The Gwinnett County Health Department is requiring all students and staff at Discovery High School to get tested for tuberculosis after Spring Break.

More TB tests for Discovery High students, staff

After the Gwinnett County Health Department notified Discovery High School officials earlier in the month that a student was being treated for tuberculosis, about 230 students and staff were tested.

Although no additional active cases of TB have been identified, the Health Department and state health officials have determined, out of an abundance of caution, that the remainder of the students and staff need to be tested.

Discovery Principal Marci Sledge sent home a letter Wednesday alerted parents that every student and staff member is required to be tested unless they were tested in the first round of testing in early March.

The tuberculin skin test is a procedure whereby a small amount of tuberculin purified protein derivative is injected just under the skin. If a person has been infected, this injection will cause a reaction within 48-72 hours. The results will be interpreted by Health Department staff 48-72 hours after the injection. If there is a need for follow-up, the Health Department will contact the patient directly. 

With Spring Break starting at the end of the week, officials were concerned there wouldn’t be enough time to test all 3,000-plus students and staff members in time and get results back. 

To assist our families with the testing, the Health Department will do the TST screening at Discovery High School on Friday, April 12.

The Health Department will return on Monday, April 15, to read the test.

Students who have a “positive” test result will be required to go to the Health Department for additional testing. Testing will be at no charge to the patient. If positive, preventive treatment for tuberculosis is available from the Health Department. 

“TB isn’t as contagious as measles,” said Gwinnett Health Department spokesman Chad Conner. “And you can only spread it when it’s in the active stage.”

Anyone who doesn’t want to wait until after Spring Break can have the test done at their doctor’s officer, but results must be sent to the health department. Or they can call the health department at 678-442-6880 to make an appointment over break.

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