Students, staff tested for TB at Akron middle school - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Students, staff tested for TB at Akron middle school

An active case of Tuberculosis has been confirmed at Jennings Community Learning Center. (Source: WOIO) An active case of Tuberculosis has been confirmed at Jennings Community Learning Center. (Source: WOIO)
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AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease has shown up at an Akron Middle School. Now parents are getting their children tested for Tuberculosis.

It's spring break for kids in Akron, but Mezekiah Tobias is returning a little bit earlier than planned with his mother at his side. He goes to Jennings Community Learning Center, where someone at the school tested positive for active Tuberculosis Disease. He and other staff members and students that go to the school were offered the opportunity to be tested for exposure to the disease.

"We're going to get him tested just to make sure. I did call our family doctor, and he said he doesn't have any signs or symptoms, just get him tested as a precaution," said Tiphany Tobias, Mezekiah's mom.

Students were sent home with a letter Thursday when they went on spring break, letting them know about the case of Tuberculosis. The Summit County Health Department will not release any information about the person who has the active case of TB, but will say that person is being treated with medication and is recovering. 
 
"I was, like, you can't even go to school nowadays not catching diseases. First, it's shootings. Now it's this," said Lisa Barkman, of Akron.

Dr. Marguerite Erme, medical director of the Summit County Health Department, says there is no cause for alarm.
 
"Tuberculosis is not a very easy disease to catch, in that, it usually takes prolonged, close contact. So people who live in households are the highest risk, and then, once you move out of the household, the risk tends to go down," explained Erme.
 
By the end of Tuesday, about 300 of the 900 staff and students who attend the school had been tested. Being screened with the simple skin test for exposure is voluntary. 

It will take 48-72 hours for test results to show. Those that were tested will have to return to the school to have their skin examined for signs of swelling that could indicate exposure.

The health department will be conducting more screenings for TB Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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