Kay County Health Department investigating case of active tuberculosis in Ponca City High School student

PONCA CITY, Okla. – The Kay County Health Department announced today that it is investigating a case of active tuberculosis (TB) in a student who attended Ponca City High School.

Health officials confirmed the student was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis and state and county health department officials have initiated an investigation including providing TB testing of household contacts and other close contacts to the student.

Ponca City Public Schools released the following statement:

“The school district is cooperating fully with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Kay County Health Department. The health and safety of students is the district’s highest priority, and school officials will be working collaboratively with both agencies as they conduct their investigation.”

Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say letters were sent out on Friday to school staff and to parents of students who may have had significant exposure and who are recommended to be tested for possible TB infection. This includes persons who had frequent and/or prolonged indoor contact with the student in instances such as being in specific classrooms or while on trips to sporting events, etc.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria which usually affects the lungs, but other parts of the body can be affected. It can be spread to others who share the same air space. Symptoms may include feeling weak or sick, weight loss, fever and night sweats. A person with TB disease may have a cough, chest pain, and/or coughing up blood.

Persons who have not been contacted by the county health department do not need to be tested. However, if you are concerned or do not know whether a significant exposure occurred, contact the Kay County Health Department at 580-762-1641.

General information concerning tuberculosis can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health website at: www.ok.gov/health.

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