Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) officials have identified a case of Tuberculosis (TB) disease, at Rose Avenue Elementary School in Oxnard. Parents have been notified by the Oxnard School District. VCPH will hold an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m., to answer questions from parents, students and staff, share information about the risk of exposure to TB and discuss plans for testing. The meeting will be held in the cafeteria at Rose Avenue Elementary School located at 220 S. Driskill Street, Oxnard CA 93030.
“Our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff at Rose Avenue Elementary School,” said Doctor Uldine Castel, TB Controller, Ventura County Public Health. “The individual with TB disease is receiving treatment and will return to the school campus only after Public Health has provided clearance. TB is a disease that can be treated and prevented. We are working closely with the Oxnard School District to make sure people identified as at risk for exposure are properly assessed by public health officials.”
Officials expect to test students and staff that may have had close contact with the individual that was identified with TB disease. The TB Control team of VCPH is looking carefully at the possible contacts this patient has had. Those identified individuals will receive a letter notifying them that they may have been exposed and that they need to be tested for TB. The testing will begin this week at the school. There will be no cost for the tests.
TB is a serious, treatable and slow-growing bacterial disease. It usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, including the brain, kidneys and spine. TB is transmitted person-to-person through microscopic droplets that enter the air when a person with active pulmonary TB disease coughs or sneezes. People who breathe in air containing TB bacteria can become infected; however not everyone infected with TB becomes sick. There is a difference between TB infection, also called Latent TB Infection (LTBI), and TB disease. People with TB disease are sick from the germs that are active in their body and they may cough, feel weak, have a fever, lose weight, have night sweats or chills. People with TB infection (without disease) have the TB germ in their body, but they are not sick because the germ is inactive. They cannot spread the germ to others. Persons who are TB infected (have LBTI) can take an antibiotic to treat the infection and prevent progression to active TB disease.
The goal of the testing to be done at the school is to identify anyone that was exposed to the person with TB disease, test them for LBTI, and to treat them to prevent them from possibly developing active TB disease. VCPH has set up a hotline, 805-385-9444, for concerned parents and staff who believe they may have been exposed to get more information.
For more information on TB, visit the California Department of Public Health at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/TBCB.aspx or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/default.htm
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