The Birkham Health Center recently reported a case of tuberculosis in a Ferris student.
According to health center officials, the university was informed of the TB diagnosis by a health department in another county. Director of Birkham Health and Counseling Center Paul Sullivan said he feels the chance of multiple students becoming infected is minor.
“It is very doubtful we will have any other positives from this case,” said Sullivan. “It is not often transmitted within a classroom setting.”
Students and faculty members who have come in contact with the individual are being notified and offered free tuberculosis testing beginning April 5 at Birkham Health Center.
Results of the test will be read by Birkham staff on April 7. Those tested will also be asked to provide an additional TB skin test within 10 to 12 weeks to ensure no reactions to bacterial exposure.
The American Lung Association reports that tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually infects the lungs. However, the disease can attack any part of the body. TB is spread person to person most often through the air. It can be spread in a variety of ways including coughing, sneezing, laughing, or even talking.
Currently, the identified student is being treated for tuberculosis while completing semester courses online. For information regarding tuberculosis or individual testing, contact Birkham Health Center at ext. 2614. n