Public Health Dept. to conduct more tests for TB - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Public Health Dept. to conduct more tests for TB

Officials with the Health Department will be back in Miller County next week, conducting a second round of tests to check for tuberculosis. (Source: WALB) Officials with the Health Department will be back in Miller County next week, conducting a second round of tests to check for tuberculosis. (Source: WALB)
The Miller County Health Department is running the testing. (Source: WALB) The Miller County Health Department is running the testing. (Source: WALB)
The interim Miller County Public Health Department Manager is Alida Ward. (Source: WALB) The interim Miller County Public Health Department Manager is Alida Ward. (Source: WALB)
Miller County Interim Superintendent, Jimmy Phillips. (Source: WALB) Miller County Interim Superintendent, Jimmy Phillips. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
MILLER CO., GA (WALB) -

The Public Health Department is taking every possible precaution to make sure Tuberculosis isn't spreading at Miller County High School. 

Officials from 14 counties with the Health Department will be back in Miller County next week, conducting a second round of tests to check for tuberculosis. 

This comes after a person was diagnosed with tuberculosis just last month. That person was placed in isolation. 

Public Health officials said this second round of tests should be the last ones. 

They want to make sure the tuberculosis germ isn't growing in any students or teachers. 

"It is critical that we test a second time to make sure that none of the children have converted," said interim Miller County Public Health Department Manager Alida Ward. 

After the individual at Miller County High School was diagnosed with TB last month, the health department tested roughly 500 students and teachers who may have had contact with that person.

"The first test is really a baseline to identify a certain population at that time," said Ward.

Only a handful, less than four percent, were found with traces of the tuberculosis germ. The germs only become harmful if they become active in your body and start to multiply. 

On Monday, health officials will be in the gym, testing the same 500 people to make sure they haven't developed the germ. 

"If they don't get their second test, there is a possibility that they may have converted and have the germ hiding inside them, waiting to grow," said Ward.

On Wednesday, health officials will return to do skin tests. If a person tests positive, health officials will recommend follow-up with a doctor. 

"We're just fortunate it's a very low-risk item," said Miller County Interim Superintendent Jimmy Phillips.

He said school systems always have to be prepared for instances like this. He said he's thankful everyone has been compliant. 

"I'm just thankful we have a health department that actually have teams to address this and that's what we've dealt with," said Phillips. 

For parents there are two important things you need to know.

If you haven't already signed a waiver for your child to be tested you need to do so as soon as possible. 

The second thing is next week is a testing week at the high school.

The superintendent said schedules have been adjusted. He assures the TB testing won't interfere.

For more information about TB you can click here or go to the Miller County High School Website

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