Active tuberculosis case detected at Sacramento-area high school, district tells parents

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A Hiram Johnson High School student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis, according to Sacramento City Unified School District officials.

In a letter to parents on Wednesday, Hiram Johnson Principal Garrett Kirkland said that the student was isolating at home, and there was no longer a risk of exposure to others on campus.

District officials said contact tracers identified 236 individuals who were possibly exposed at the campus — the majority of that contact came through shared classes with the student at the 1,500-student campus.

Parents of those close-contact students, as well as exposed school staff, will receive an additional letter for next steps, which include testing for the contagious bacteria, Kirkland said.

The school will also host an informational session via Zoom on Thursday evening.

Tuberculosis, an airborne bacteria infection, can come from close exposure to someone with active TB, according to the CDC. The majority of people who are infected never progress to active TB.

If a person breathes air that has TB bacteria, they may get infected by dormant TB germs, meaning they cannot pass them on to anyone else, according to the CDC. However, both active and inactive infections are treated with antibiotics to prevent further illness.