500 people to be tested after Ole Miss student diagnosed with TB - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

500 people to be tested after Ole Miss student diagnosed with TB

500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT 500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT
500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT 500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT
500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT 500 people to be tested for TB on Ole Miss campus. Source: WLBT
OXFORD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Around 500 hundred students, faculty and staff will now have to be tested for tuberculosis at the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford. The required testing comes after Mississippi State Department of Health says a student was diagnosed with the disease.

“Active TB is a disease that causes fever, cough, it can do a prolonged weight loss," said Mississippi State Department of Health's Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. "It can be very significant, and folks are very ill when they have TB."

READ MORE: Important Announcement from University of Mississippi

Dr. Byers says the student that tested positive for TB in late March is now being treated and is no longer on the Ole Miss Campus. Students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed will now have to undergo testing to make sure they didn't get infected.

“We work with the school to notify those individuals so that we can do a mass screening, so we can screen as many individuals as we can in a one-day period,” said Byers.

RELATED: MS Department of Health investigates TB case at University of Mississippi

Health officials say anyone can get TB. “TB is person to person transmission and it is a respiratory disease. It is transmitted through airborne particles or airborne bacteria. Someone can inhale that bacteria,” said Byers.

The infectious disease is treatable when medicines are provided and taken properly. Byers points out that the state's rate of TB has declined over the past few years.

“Last year, our numbers were down in the range of 50 to 51 and that was down from my previous year in 2016," said Byers.

Recently, the state health department received $1.26 million from the Mississippi legislature to provide more effective and efficient TB services for the public.

“It takes vigilance to keep TB down," said Byers. "It takes vigilance to identify those cases.”

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