Free tuberculosis testing for students

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tuberculosisSAN DIEGO — Free tuberculosis testing for students will be offered at the San Diego Community College Continuing Education Mid-City campus on Tuesday because someone associated with the school has been diagnosed with the disease and may have exposed others.

The period of potential exposure was from Jan. 30 to April 9, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

“TB usually requires many hours of close, indoor contact to spread to others, so most people who are exposed in classrooms do not get infected or develop the disease,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, the county’s deputy public health officer.

County health officials said free testing for students will be offered at the campus at 3792 Fairmount Ave. on Tuesday, but people can also be tested by their own doctor.

Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. When TB does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication.

It is important to identify those who are infected to provide treatment before symptoms develop and to prevent the spread of the disease to others, according to the Health and Human Services Agency. In 2012, 234 tuberculosis cases were reported in the county, with 39 so far this year.

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