TB cases reported at two South Bay schools

SAN DIEGO -- Students and staff at Hilltop and San Ysidro high schools in southern San Diego County might have been exposed to tuberculosis, county health officials reported Thursday.

The most recent case was in Chula Vista, where people at Hilltop might have been exposed Aug. 28-30, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. Free testing is scheduled Monday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on campus at 555 Claire Ave.

The potential exposure at San Ysidro was much earlier this year, from Feb. 18 to June 2. Free testing is scheduled Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the campus at 5353 Airway Road.

Agency officials are working with the Sweetwater Union High School District to notify the people determined to be at risk.

"The County Health Department has indicated that the exposure is limited to about 130 students. We will be sending a letter home with those students in the next few days. If your child does not receive a letter by Friday of this week, it is because they have not been determined to be risk of exposure," according to the letter.

"Symptoms of active TB disease include cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer.

"Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop active disease," Wooten said. "Those who test positive for TB can be treated with medication to prevent or cure active disease -- that's why it's important for those with possible exposure to get tested."

TB is not uncommon in the San Diego region but has been decreasing in recent years, according to the HHSA. There were 234 TB cases reported in San Diego in 2015 and 258 cases in 2016. To date, 130 cases have been reported this year.

More information on the potential exposure is available by calling the county TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.