Health officials urge TB testing for some students and staff

On Tuesday, Riverside County health officials announced that a student at Tahquitz High School in Hemet has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis.

The county public health officials are working with school representatives to identify students and staff who might have been exposed to the illness.

The student is receiving treatment and is expected to recover and will not return to school until a medical clearance is issued. The student is not being identified due to confidentiality requirements.

Riverside County health officials sent out letters to the families of about 300 students who might have been exposed to this illness. The school is also notifying staff members who might have been exposed.

As a precautionary measure, the health department is recommending that anyone who receives the notice be screened with a free TB skin test at a clinic being planned later this month at Tahquitz High School. Those who receive the notification letter can also opt to be tested by their own health care provider at their own expense.         TB testing is only recommended for those who receive notification.

If the skin test reads positive, the individual will get a chest x-ray and follow-up with an appropriate provider. The x-ray will help determine whether an individual might simply have been exposed to the illness rather than have active TB.