Close contacts of student diagnosed with disease will be checked
© Telegram file photo
Parents or guardians of all those identified as close contacts of a student in St. John’s diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) have been notified by public health officials, Eastern Health said today.
Earlier this week, Eastern Health confirmed a student at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s had TB and that they were investigating.
“The risk to students who have been identified as close contacts continues to be very low and, as such, all students should continue to attend classes as usual,” said Dr. David Allison, Medical Officer of Health for Eastern Health.
A news release noted that close contacts are those who have regular, prolonged contact with an individual diagnosed with TB.
Parents or guardians of about 50 close contacts identified at this point in time have been contacted and invited to participate in an information session with Eastern Health.
On Wednesday, Eastern Health participated in two meetings with parents or guardians of close contacts. Eastern Health also met with all of the staff at Holy Heart of Mary High School on Tuesday, and continues to work with the school to keep students and their families informed.
TB testing for the close contacts will begin at the Holy Heart of Mary High School on Tuesday of next week.
The testing requires a systematic approach with the time required between testing and reading test results taking up to 72 hours. It is anticipated that information on the first round of testing will be available in late May. However, final results of the testing process will not be known until after the completion of the required second round of testing, which will take place in June.
Parents or guardians seeking additional information related to the TB investigation at Holy Heart of Mary High School may contact a public health nurse at (709) 752-4358 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on week days.