An unidentified individual at College of the Desert is currently being treated for an active case of tuberculosis. The person is expected to make a full recovery.
Of the eight TB cases reported this year in Riverside County, this is the first involving a school setting. Fifty-six were reported last year in the county.
"College of the Desert is committed to the health and safety of all of our staff and students," stated school Superintendent and President Dr. Joel Kinnamon. The Department of Public Health is working with the school to identify others who may have been exposed and recommending they be tested for TB.
"TB testing is being recommended as a precautionary measure although the risk of transmission is very low. It is better to err on the side of caution," said county interim public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.
TB is spread by close contact with an individual who has an active form of the disease. People can become infected by breathing air exhaled by someone who is sick. Left untreated, TB can become a very serious illness, sometimes leading to death. However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. A person with inactive TB cannot spread the bacteria to others.
Anyone concerned about TB can contact their health care provider or Public Health at (951) 358-5107. For additional information about tuberculosis visit the Department of Public Health website www.rivco-diseasecontrol.org.