Denver Post (02.14.12) - Friday, February 17, 2012
The director of the Denver Metro Tuberculosis Control Program
told a parent meeting on Monday he expects to see roughly 50
more latent TB cases during the next round of testing at
Longmont High School (LHS). Fifty-four or 55 students in the
first round of 124 were positive for latent TB, which is not
contagious, said Dr. Randall Reves.
The case of active TB that prompted the testing at LHS was
announced in January, and that student has not been in school
since winter break, said Reves.
If 100 latent cases are found, it is likely five to seven
would become active TB - and contagious - in the next two
years; approximately five more would become active after that
two-year window, the director said.
Latent TB patients who take treatment correctly reduce their
risk of developing active infection by 90 percent. "This is a
chance to really prevent some active tuberculosis," Reves told
the parents. "There's a lot of reasons to take the treatment
and protect your health."
Students with latent TB who opt for the nine-month regimen can
do so at home, meeting with a public health nurse once a
month. Another option is a two-drug, shorter-course regimen,
though one of the medicines can interfere with anti-seizure
drugs and hormonal birth-control.
Carolyn Bargman of Boulder County Health said officials will
be contacting students who transferred from LHS during the
fall semester or later so they can be screened as well.