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Students At Downey High Tested For Tuberculosis After 3 Positive Cases

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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DOWNEY (CBS) — Health officials tested about 100 students for tuberculosis at Downey High School Wednesday after several students had tested positive months before. Some parents questioned why the tests were not conducted sooner.

“We had to go in the theater and they gave us shots to see if we were infected with TB,” a sophomore said.

Violet Gonzalez said that she received a call on Friday alerting her that her daughters may have come into contact with three students, who tested positive.

“She had actually just told me that she was having chest pains and we were going to set an appointment anyways for that. Then when I looked up the tuberculosis side effects or signs of it, that was one of the things and I was really scared,” Gonzalez told us.

Principal Tom Houts said health department officials showed up at the school two weeks ago telling him that they wanted to test students in one math class and the girls’ and boys’ volleyball teams.

Two students, who were both in the class and on the team had tested positive last October and November, according to officials.

But why the delay?

“That’s a good question. I asked the nurse from the health department that and she told me it was something about genotyping and stuff that I do not know about, so I really can’t answer that question,” Houts said.

He went on to say that he was frustrated about what he called a lack of communication on the part of the public health department.

Gonzalez was not aware that months had passed since the students had tested positive.

“That’s really upsetting, especially knowing that my daughter was in contact with this person,” Gonzalez said.

Houts said since news of the two cases had spread, another parent notified him that their child tested positive last month.

“They waited this long to deal with a possible very bad situation. [I’m] not aware of any of it,” said parent Dene Molina-Cabrera.

Health officials were expected to be back at the school Friday with the results from the tests.

A spokesperson with the department would not comment on the delay of follow up the tests.

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