Of the 1800 pupils at a Palmerston North high school, 500 will undergo testing this week following a case of tuberculosis in the school. The remaining students will be tested in the coming weeks.
A 13-year-old student was admitted to hospital on August 16 and laboratory tests have now confirmed the boy has tuberculosis.
The skin testing of other students, teachers and parents revealed exposure to the infecting bacteria. The remaining students will be tested in the coming weeks.
According to Scott Crowley, MidCentral District Health Board spokesperson, more people who may have come in contact with the student will be tested on Friday. Chest x-rays will be taken and antibiotics will be given to those exposed to the bacteria to prevent the development of tuberculosis.
In tuberculosis, the lungs are infected by the bacteria. It spreads by close contact with the contaminated person. It may take months for the symptoms to be noticeable.
The symptoms are persistent cough, blood in spit, weight loss and fever. Peolple should look out fir these symptoms according to Crowley
Classes will go on as usual in the Palmerston North Boys' High School, says the head.
School rector, Tim O'Connor, emphasizes that those who have been in contact with the bacteria do not have TB and medication should prevent the disease developing. Parents are being requested not to keep their kids away from school.