Health department confirms active TB at Troy University

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The state health department on Tuesday confirmed the diagnosis of active tuberculosis in a Troy University student.

The confirmation was announced by the university on its website in a notice to parents of students on the Troy campus.

The university and the Alabama Department of Public Health informed the community and students that an incidence of likely case of tuberculosis in a student.

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“The sooner we identify any students who have been in close contact (with the suspected TB victim), the sooner we can start treatment,” Pam Barrett, Tuberculosis Control Division director, said Monday.

According to the university’s statement, the ADPH had tested 177 individuals by noon on Tuesday. These individuals were identified as having been in close contact with the initial patient. ADPH staff will review the results of the tests with these individuals beginning Thursday, and if necessary additional testing will be conducted, the university statement said.

Symptoms of active TB include coughing, night sweats and weight loss.

According to statistics from the ADPH, 146 new cases of TB were reported in 2010, including one in Pike County.

Tuberculosis is a worldwide pandemic. More than 1.7 million people worldwide died from TB in 2009. According to the World Health Organization, among the 15 countries with the highest incidence rates, 13 are in Africa. More than a third of all new cases are in India and China.

More than 2 million people worldwide are infected with the TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB. One in every 10 of those people will become sick with active TB in his or her lifetime. Each person with active TB can infect on average 10 to 15 people a year.