Health officials: IUPUI student diagnosed with tuberculosis, testing recommended for nearly 400 people

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 12, 2016) – Officials at IUPUI are taking precautions after a student was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The health department and IUPUI worked together to identify and notify nearly 400 students, staff and faculty members who came into close contact with the student about the potential risk of TB and encouraged them to get tested.

TB is spread through the air from person to person by coughing sneezing speaking or even breathing.

It is a bacterium, there is no vaccination and it is treated by antibiotics over a period of several months.

Students we spoke with say this is giving them a good reminder to practice good hygiene.

“You’re more watchful and you realize that everybody’s got something, but you just wash your hands more just take care of what you are doing more,” said an IUPUI senior.

TB is more serious for the very young, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

According to the CDC, there are two forms of TB, latent and disease.

Most people are able to fight the latent TB bacteria from growing and show no symptoms, but if the bacteria becomes active and multiply, that’s when the body’s immune system needs help with antibiotics.

Treatment for active TB takes anywhere from 6-9 months.

Outside of the initial case, there were no other confirmed cases of TB, the university said. The health department continues to monitor the situation.

Click here for more information about TB.

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