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California Briefing / Long Beach

Students, staff to be tested for TB

March 21, 2009|Seema Mehta

About 170 students and staff members at Wilson High School will be tested for possible exposure to tuberculosis, according to the Long Beach Unified School District.

The screening, which parents will be notified about on Monday, was prompted by the infection of an individual at the school and will be conducted in early April.

People who had contact with the infected person will have a substance injected under the skin of their forearm. The area will be checked a few days later, and, if signs of exposure are present, the person's chest will be X-rayed by the city's health department or their personal physician, Robert Tagorda, assistant to the superintendent, said.

The disease is spread through the air when a person infected with TB coughs, sneezes or spits. Though potentially fatal, tuberculosis is treatable with medication.

Wilson High experienced a similar scare in September, when 400 students and staff were tested. Tagorda said the new potential exposure is not connected with that incident.

-- Seema Mehta

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