The DeKalb County Board of Health is investigating a tuberculosis (TB) exposure at Pine Ridge Elementary School in Stone Mountain. The investigation is due to a confirmed case of TB at the school. The ill individual is being appropriately isolated.
The Board of Health has already begun administering TB tests to students and staff who may be at risk of TB exposure. Testing will continue through Dec. 14.
Dr. Alawode Oladele, medical director for the DeKalb County Board of Health’s TB program, explained, “The most important thing for concerned parents is to have their child tested. Testing is the best way to determine if their child has been exposed.”
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacterium is inhaled in air-borne droplets produced when a person with active TB coughs, sneezes or speaks. To become infected with TB, a person must have direct, extended contact with a contagious person who has the disease.
The TB test is the most accurate way to determine if a person has been exposed. Exposure to TB does not mean that a person has the active form of TB disease.
However, medical care may be needed to prevent the infection from becoming the active disease.
The DeKalb County Board of Health offers TB skin and blood testing at its Vinson Health Center. Call 404-294-7857 for information about TB services.