Auburn University tuberculosis case update

Auburn University tuberculosis case update

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - It has been more than two months since an Auburn University student tested positive for tuberculosis.

Ten weeks ago, the Alabama Department of Public Health ran tests on nearly 50 students and faculty members who were in close contact with the student.  All tests come back negative. However, members of ADPH were back in Auburn today for a second round of tests.

"The reason for that is if a person was exposed in a matter of a few weeks of when the person was identified, then they may have not shown up on the initial screening, but they should show up on the subsequent screening which is why they are being screened again today," explains Dr. Frederick Kam, Medical Director of AU Medical Clinic.

Tuberculosis is equivalent to a bacterial infection usually contracted through respiratory spread. Symptoms include coughing, fever and weight loss.

"The number-one thing is to avoid people who are sick or coughing. So it's very similar to what you would do for the cold or the flu, avoid people who are sick. Number two, wash your hands," states Kam.

Dr. Kam did inform News Leader 9 that the AU student infected with tuberculosis is on treatment, back in classes, and doing very well.

"The challenge is a number of people may have been exposed, but they have no symptoms and therefore it's very hard to convince a A-symptomatic, healthy person to go through a screening process such as this," says Kam.

The second screening was performed on the 50 participants this afternoon. Results will be available in 48 to 72 hours and will go directly to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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