100+ students to be tested for tuberculosis at North Seattle College

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Healthcare Workers Fight TB In The Inner City

(File photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — More than 100 students and staff at North Seattle College will be tested for tuberculosis after someone with the lung disease recently visited campus.

According to administrators, those who are being tested came into close contact with that person. Letters and e-mails were sent earlier this week to those who may have been exposed.

The school says this is all “out of an abundance of caution” and the community should not be concerned.

The following letter was sent home to students:

Dear Student,

Our college was informed that a person on our campus has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis (TB). This should not be a concern for most of our community, but we wanted you to be aware. We are working closely with Public Health – Seattle & King County to identify and notify approximately 110 people who may have had close contact with this individual so that they can be properly evaluated. Our public health partners tell us that TB is readily treatable with commonly-available antibiotics, and they are working closely with the infected person to ensure a full recovery.

Letters and emails about this incident were mailed earlier this week to the small group of people who had close contact with the infected individual. If you did not receive a letter, you are not considered to have been exposed and no action is required. Individuals considered to be exposed have been notified of mandatory screenings that will occur in the coming week.

Experts tell us that TB is an ongoing global public health concern, and with our region at a global crossroads, it’s not surprising to see active TB cases here. It is reassuring to know that our public health partners have a system in place to quickly respond to cases when they are diagnosed, so that people can be screened and treated before larger outbreaks can occur. Thanks to these efforts, our campus community continues to be a safe environment for you.

We are communicating this information campus-wide out of an abundance of caution and to be transparent about this public health incident. We’ve worked closely with our public health partners, and taken measures to ensure the safety of our students and employees. Your safety is our top priority.

Should you have any questions about TB, please visit www.cdc.gov/tb or see the following fact sheet. Again, unless you received a letter on this matter in the mail or an email stating you must come in for a screening, no action on your part is needed or advised.

Thank you for your attention on this matter.

Sincerely,

Marci Myer
Vice President and Dean, Student Development Services
North Seattle College

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