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TWU reports campus TB case

Profile image for By Lowell Brown / Staff Writer
By Lowell Brown / Staff Writer

Health officials are recommending tuberculosis screening for roughly 100 people at Texas Woman’s University in Denton after a student was diagnosed with the airborne lung disease.

The university announced Monday that a student was receiving treatment after being diagnosed with active tuberculosis last week. The university did not release the student’s identity.

Denton County health officials visited the campus Friday and recommended tuberculosis screening for about 100 students, faculty and staff identified as close contacts of the student, according to a university news release.

For everyone else on campus, there’s probably no need to worry, said Bing Burton, county health director. To catch TB, people typically have to be exposed to an infected person for at least six hours, he said.

The university notified all faculty, staff and students of the situation Monday through its website and internal alert system, and through e-mail and social media sites. People recommended for screening received separate notices and can take skin tests at the campus health center, university spokeswoman Amanda Simpson said.

The news follows tuberculosis cases at Denton High School and the University of North Texas late last year. The county usually sees 10 to 15 tuberculosis cases a year, typically involving people who contract the disease in foreign countries, Burton said.

TWU did not release any information about the student, citing medical privacy laws.

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease that affects the lungs and can also affect the brain, kidney or spine, according to the health department. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, fatigue, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, fever, night sweats and chills.

LOWELL BROWN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is lmbrown@dentonrc.com .