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Students, teachers to be tested for TB after case reported at Morse High

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SAN DIEGO – Dozens of high school students will be tested for tuberculosis this week after county health officials say students at Morse High School may have been exposed to the disease last month.

District health physicians say only a few dozen students and a half-dozen teachers need to be tested.

“Some people are making jokes about it,” said Morse High School Junior Sam Gurrola. “It’s half and half. Some people are bringing sanitizer and bringing masks.”

“I think my boy is going to get tested tomorrow,” Sam's dad told FOX 5.

The testing will be done one of two ways. Some will get a skin test, others will have their blood drawn. Kids born outside the United States typically have antibodies that will affect a skin test, so they will need the blood test.

“Most staff and students will never get a letter because they were determined to not be in a close enough contact to even be considered a risk,” said Howard Taras, physician for the school district.

Symptoms for TB include a fever lasting longer than a week, a cough, night sweats and weight loss.

“If you have TB, there’s only a 10 percent chance that you are going to end up having the actual disease,” Taras said. “You may carry the germ as a dormant germ and never get the disease.”

He added that it usually takes more than a month for the disease to develop and present. The district plans to come back for a second round of testing next month to check in on the progress in case samples were taken too soon.

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