PORTLAND, Ore. – A person who is associated with Skyview High School tested positive for tuberculosis, Clark County public health officials said.
Tuberculosis is a potentially dangerous bacterial infection that can affect the lungs, spine and brain. The condition isn’t contagious unless a person has active TB, according to the Mayo Clinic. The person associated with Skyview High School has active TB.
Health officials said the possibility of the disease spreading is still low. There has been no evidence of other cases of TB at Skyview.
“Public Health is identifying those who may have been in close contact with the person who tested positive for active TB and will notify those individuals directly in the coming days,” the health department said.
Clark County officials were informed of the possible TB case by a local health care provider on Tuesday, May 1. The diagnosis was confirmed on Monday, May 7. Parents and staff were notified Friday, May 11.
The person’s name and whether they were a student, teacher, or someone else who is involved with the school couldn’t be released, the health department said, due to health privacy laws.
The health department also hasn’t determined exactly when the person contacted TB. Symptoms don’t usually show up immediately after someone is infected. Officials may evaluate where the person was and may have contracted TB between July 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018.
The health department will offer free screenings to students and staff who were in close contact with the person who tested positive later this month.
In December, a person associated with Wy'East Middle School in Vancouver tested positive for tuberculosis. In April, a caregiver at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland also tested positive for the infection.
Elephants at the Oregon Zoo have also battled the disease. Beloved elephant Packy died last year after a long battle with TB. Several other elephants at the zoo have contracted the disease and passed it on to some zoo staff members.