INDIO (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of teachers and staff at Indio High School were being tested for tuberculosis Friday after a student was diagnosed with the contagious and possibly deadly infection.
Tuberculosis tests have been expanded to the entire student body and staff at the school, located about 23 miles east of Palm Springs, after 45 out of 131 students tested positive for possible exposure to the illness.
Approximately 1,800 students and staff members will take part in the testing clinic, according to health officials.
Someone who is exposed does not necessarily have active tuberculosis (TB), a condition that officials say must be confirmed with more tests.
“The positive TB skin test does not mean that they have active tuberculosis,” Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said. “Again, let me reiterate that there is no evidence that there is any other cases other than the single one that has been identified.
“However, out of an abundance of caution, I have ordered the rest of the staff and school to be tested.”
Researchers say tuberculosis is caused by a micro-bacteria that attacks the lungs and produces symptoms including chest pains and the coughing up of blood. If untreated, the infection can be deadly.
A handful of Southland students have tested positive for TB in the last year, including one student at Vista Murrieta High School in October and another unidentified person from Whittier High School in January.