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Pasco students awaiting TB test results after confirmed case

Students from three schools could be effected
Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 31, 2017

Pasco County health officials are awaiting test results on several students for Tuberculosis.

That comes after someone with the disease was on a school bus last week.

RELATED: Tuberculosis case confirmed in Pasco County

The school bus in question is used by Cotee River Elementary, Deer Park Elementary and Marchmann Technical College. Anyone who was on that bus was contacted, and tested for TB.

Hearing about a case of Tuberculosis anywhere near the school where her grand kids go is a reason for Caroline Depitrio to worry.

“I found out late last night, from a friend. Which means the kids weren’t told. My daughter wasn’t told. My daughter didn’t even know what TB was.”

The Pasco School district did send a note home Thursday letting everyone at the effected schools know, someone on a bus tested positive TB.

Amy Hopkins is a TB specialist with the Pasco Health Department.

She said catching the disease is rare in the US, and they start by testing only those who came in direct contact for a extended period of time.

“We’ve been able to isolate and through our investigation narrow it down. We feel very confident that the parents should not be concerned. We take these steps as a precautionary measure.”

Health officials say TB spreads through the air by droplets from a cough or sneeze but is easily treatable.

The health department said they don’t know yet if anyone else they tested has TB, but they likely wouldn’t say anyway because of privacy concerns.

Meanwhile, at Cotee River, that protective grandmother isn’t feeling great about today’s after school dance. 

“Well because that’s more contact. More close contact. Where in school they sit in separate seats, now they are going to be literally touching each other I’m sure. Cause they are kids. They are going to dance,” said Depitrio.

The Center for Disease Control reports last year there were more than 9,000 new cases of TB in the US, the lowest number since they started keeping track in 1953.

For more information on TB, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/tuberculosis/index.html or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at  http://www.cdc.gov/tb/.