ADPH works on screening and follow-up of suspected TB case at Troy University

Posted: Monday, 07 November 2011

TROY—On Nov. 4, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) officials notified Troy University of plans to investigate a suspected case of pulmonary tuberculosis identified in a Troy University student enrolled on the Troy Campus. ADPH and Troy University are working closely to ensure that University students and employees will be screened quickly.

The local health department is communicating regularly with Troy University to keep its faculty, administration, and students updated on this ongoing process.

Dr. Mary McIntyre, Assistant State Health Officer for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, "We are working very closely with the University to develop and implement a screening plan. Although a diagnosis of tuberculosis has not been confirmed, ADPH is implementing precautionary testing, investigation and control measures."

On Nov. 7, ADPH and University officials began visiting students enrolled in classes with the student to identify those who might have been in close contact with the student. In addition, the University is identifying close friends of the student for assessment. According to the ADPH, "close contact" is defined generally as spending an extended amount of time with the subject in a physically close environment.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and preventable disease. Persons who were in close contact with the suspect case will be rapidly assessed and appropriate preventive measures taken, according to ADPH officials. The Department of Public Health recommends that only those who were in close contact with the student need to be tested.

Troy University officials said the student presented documentation indicating a negative test for tuberculosis prior to admission to the University, which is required by TROY policy.

For additional information, contact Pam Barrett, director of the Alabama Department of Public Health Tuberculosis Control Division, at 334-206-6228 or 334-850-1155.