Case of tuberculosis reported at Fresno State

University and county public health officials are urging 133 Fresno State students and five professors who may have been exposed to tuberculosis by a female student to get tested for the disease.

The student, whose identity was not released, was diagnosed with active tuberculosis after visiting the Student Health Center “in the last couple of weeks,” said David Luchini, the assistant director of the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

The campus community was notified of the reported case in an email sent out Thursday morning.

“Health department staff and Fresno State officials are working together to protect the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff,” the email read.

A separate email was sent out to the students and faculty who may have come in close contact with the woman advising them to take a skin test to determine whether or not they have contracted the disease.

The skin test, which will be given for free at the health center on four different dates, is administered in two steps that will require the students and faculty to return at a later date for results to be read.

Luchini said tuberculosis cases at Fresno State have been rare – this marks the first active case since 2001.

Currently, 41 people in Fresno County have active cases of tuberculosis, Luchini said, though that number has decreased from about 120 reported cases a decade ago.

“We’ve really worked hard to identify those who are in close contact with active TB cases,” Luchini said.

Tuberculosis is treatable and is contracted by bacteria spread from person to person through the air. Symptoms include fever, coughing blood, feeling of weakness and night sweats.

The easiest form of prevention is to simply avoid contact with others.

“If you feel sick, if you have a fever, try to stay home,” Luchini said. “Don’t go to class.”

Here is a list of dates when the Student Health Center will administer the skin tests (results have to be read two to three days after the test):

* Monday, Oct. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
* Monday, Oct. 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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