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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
COLORADO: Longmont Expecting 50 More Latent TB Cases
Victoria A.F. Camron
February 17, 2012
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.