CNN reported that Riverside County Department of Public Health and California state officials decided to screen all 1,800 students and staff of Indio High School for TB on December 20, after identifying one active TB case and several dozen students who tested positive for possible exposure. The school’s Web site posted a letter to parents that described the school-wide testing as precautionary. The school stated that students must return to the school on Monday, December 23, to receive an evaluation of their testing results. Students without verification of current TB test results could not return to school on January 6 after the holiday break. Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser stated that public health officials did not fear a TB outbreak.
County health officials decided to test everyone at Indio High after an initial screening of 131 students and staff yielded 45 possible TB exposures. County Health Department Spokesperson Jose Arballo Jr. explained that testing positive for possible exposure did not necessarily mean a person had active TB. The health department also screened the people with possible TB exposure with chest X-rays and identified five people for further examination.
CDC estimated that approximately one-third of the world’s 6 billion people had TB.