Baltimore Sun (08.02.2013)
On August 2, Maryland’s Baltimore County Health Department said that approximately 60 staff and students from Parkville High School might have been exposed to TB toward the end of the school year. An unknown young woman was diagnosed with the disease in July. The department released no other details about her or how she may have contracted TB. Letters sent to potential contacts urged them to get tested. The health department will offer free testing at the school on Monday, August 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The results will determine whether the department needs to perform wider testing. Dr. Barbara McLean, director of the Baltimore County Health Department's Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness, noted that casual contact likely would not result in infection. "A person needs to have very close contact for a prolonged period of time to breathe in the bacteria. It's not an easily communicable disease,” she added. Maryland recorded 224 TB cases last year, with 29 cases in Baltimore County. TB infects the lungs and is still a leading cause of death around the world, with 1.4 million fatalities each year, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research. Most US cases are treated successfully. Anyone with questions should contact the Baltimore County Department of Health at (410) 887–2711.