March 23, 2012
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified a patient with tuberculosis at Dame School in Concord. The Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) staff is conducting an investigation to determine if any other students or staff were exposed to the tuberculosis bacterium. DPHS has been working in cooperation with the administration of the School and the family. A determination will be made shortly if others need to be tested for tuberculosis exposure.
“Tuberculosis is generally difficult to spread from one person to another and requires prolonged contact,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “and in this case it seems unlikely that anyone else was exposed. However, we always conduct a thorough investigation when it comes to reportable diseases and we certainly will in this case as well.”
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that usually infects the lungs but can manifest itself in any area of the body. It is treatable with an extended course of medications. Tuberculosis is usually spread through coughing by the infected person, which causes the bacteria to become airborne. The symptoms of active tuberculosis include coughing, night sweats, fever, and weight loss.
There will be a public meeting for parents at the Dame School tonight at 5:30 pm. For more information about tuberculosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov, the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov, or call the NH DHHS Communicable Disease Control Section at 1-603-271-4496 or 1-800-852-3345 x4496.