Case of tuberculosis suspected at school

LILBURN -- About 175 children at Lilburn Middle School need to be tested for exposure to tuberculosis, officials said Wednesday.

The Gwinnett County Health Department has notified the school district of a suspected case of tuberculosis at Lilburn Middle School. The sixth-grade student is being treated for the condition. As a precaution, the Health Department will test Lilburn Middle students on Friday who were in closest and continuous contact with the student. The TB screening will be conducted at the school by nurses from the Health Department, assisted by the school system's RN's.

Approximately 175 children have been identified by health officials as needing to be tested for exposure to TB. Parents of these students were notified by a letter sent home on Tuesday by Lilburn Middle Principal Dr. Gene Taylor. The letter informs the parents about the tuberculosis bacteria and the PPD (purified protein derivative) testing that will be conducted.

The procedure involves injecting a small amount of tuberculin PPD just under the skin. A person who has been infected will show a reaction within 48 hours. Parental consent is required in order for a child to be tested. The letter included a consent form for parents to sign and return to the school. The PPD test will be conducted free of charge at the school for the identified students. Parents also may choose to have their child tested by a personal physician; results must be reported to the Health Department.

The parents of Lilburn Middle students who do not need to be tested also received a letter from Dr. Taylor notifying them about the suspected case of TB.

For additional information about the testing or TB, please contact Health Department PIO Suleima Salgado at 678-442-6909.