The School District of Lancaster says it has notified state health officials of an active tuberculosis case at Wheatland Middle School.
In a Sept. 9 letter to parents, principal Jay Butterfield said the Department of Health would be provided with a list of students and staff who may have been exposed to the ill person, and will determine who should have a screening test to determine if they were exposed to TB.
The screening will be conducted by the Health Department at the middle school in the near future, and the results will determine whether further steps and treatment are necessary, Butterfield said in the letter.
Butterfield said tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria which can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. It is not spread from casual contact, or from kissing and sharing food and drinks.
He said that most of the time when someone is exposed to TB, their immune system protects them and they do not become ill, but the bacteria may remain dormant.
Symptoms of active TB include a cough that lasts longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pain, night sweats, fatigue, weakness, nausea, fever, chills and coughing up blood.