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Horseheads student tests positive for tuberculosis exposure

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - A Horseheads High School student tested positive last week to exposure to tuberculosis. 

Because of privacy laws, the Horseheads Central School District cannot share specific information about the student but still informed parents and guardians through a letter saying, "We have spoken extensively with the Chemung County Health Department, and they have assured us that at this time, no public health risk exists."

"To be able to work with the school, to discuss what TB is, communication routes, and how to move forward, I think was integral to putting a message to the public that was as informative as it could have been," Chemung County Public Health Director Peter Buzzetti said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "a person who is exposed to TB bacteria is not able to spread the bacteria to others right away" and that "only those with active TB disease can spread tb bacteria to others."

The school still took aggressive cautionary measures by cleaning and disinfecting all areas the student may have been. Facilities staff cleaned buses, classrooms, and other areas of the high school with state-approved disinfectant. 

"The communication route for tuberculosis is respiratory droplets, so I believe that the school went above and beyond with their cleaning process," Buzzetti said. 

Public health is working with pulmonologists for follow up and says it will certainly provide more details as they come in. 

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