MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) The Mobile County Health Department said students at Pearl Haskew Elementary School may have been exposed to tuberculosis through a teacher who was infected with the illness. The woman, who teaches 3rd grade at Pearl Haskew Elementary School, tested positive for TB this week.
Health officials say per standard protocols, the patient is being treated and counseled regarding self-isolation procedures until she is cleared to return to work. Officials said doctors made the discovery when the woman was having an unrelated biopsy done.
As a precaution, school officials replaced the HVAC air filters throughout the school and will conduct the skin tests next week free of charge. The tests will be conducted Wednesday, January 23. The testing is mandatory for 3rd graders at the school. Students who will not be in attendance should go to the MCHD Tuberculosis Clinic or their primary doctor.
If parents choose not to have their child receive the tests at the school, they have the option to have their child tested by a doctor of their choice, but must submit documentation clearing the student of any illness.
Parents who have children in other grades at the school can also opt in for the testing.
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. It is spread through the air from one person to the next with active TB disease of the lungs, coughs or sneezes.
Officials will hold a meeting for parents at the school Tuesday night at 6pm. Doctors will return to the school Friday, January 25 to determine the results of the tests.
For more information, call the Health Department’s TB Clinic at 251-690-8143.