Officials: Holland student with TB not a health threat

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Health officials say a Holland Middle School student recently diagnosed with tuberculosis can stay in class.

A spokeswoman for the health department says county and state experts examined the student’s condition and determined the student wasn’t showing any symptoms to indicate he or she was contagious.

In a Friday letter to parents, the health department said the student is "not considered a health threat to others,"  but it would monitor the situation and "make appropriate recommendations if warranted in the future."

>>PDF: Ottawa County Department of Public Health letter to parents

Health officials are not releasing additional information about the student and whether he or she was vaccinated.

While tuberculosis is an airborne disease, health officials say the risk of becoming infected is low for people who do not have prolonged, close contact in a confined space with a sick person. They also emphasized the disease doesn’t spread through contact like shaking hands, kissing or sharing food, drink or school supplies.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that typically infects the lungs, but the disease can attack any part of the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says not everyone infected with TB bacteria become sick.

For additional information, contact a doctor or the Ottawa County health department at 616.396.5266.



CDC on Tuberculosis


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