Frederick News Post (02.11.2014)
The Frederick News-Post reported that Maryland’s Frederick County Health Department has a detailed plan in place on how to handle a TB diagnosis in a public school setting in the event a student should test positive. The chance of being infected with TB in schools is low, but the health department created the plan, in part, to ward off panic, often spurred by social media.
Prompted by a TB case in a neighboring county, Frederick health department employees, as well as Frederick County Public School staff, received training on what procedures to follow if a student in their county is diagnosed with TB. Procedures include: coordinating their responses; maintaining the student’s privacy; and notifying and testing individuals who may be at risk. They also will ensure treatment adherence to eliminate infections.
It often takes weeks to receive a positive test result, and the patient’s absenteeism from school or work during this time can lead to rumors; the health department wants to preempt this type of panic. The county recorded four TB cases in 2013, none of which occurred in the school system.