TB suspected in Central student

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Central Gwinnett High School student is suspected of having tuberculosis, the school system reported Friday. The student is currently under medical care.

The Gwinnett County Health Department will test approximately 120 students and staff members Wednesday to ensure they didn't contract the disease.

"Those were only the students who the Health Department determined were in the closest contact and needed to be tested. It's only a precaution," said Sloan Roach, spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Schools.

Principal Valerie Clark sent letters home Friday to all Central Gwinnett parents informing them of the situation. A separate letter was sent for those students who will need to be tested next week. The school also called parents to inform them of the situation.

Tuberculosis is primarily a disease of the lungs passed through droplets in the air. It is only contagious when someone breathes in air that a person with the disease sneezes or coughs out. Even then, it isn't usually passed on to other people. It can be treated effectively with six to nine months of antibiotic therapy and other drugs.