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May 28, 2013

DHEC recommends testing some students for possible exposure to tuberculosis

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Students at one Greenwood County school will be offered a free tuberculosis (TB) skin test after possible exposure to the germ that causes the disease, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today. An individual associated with the school has tested positive for the disease.

DHEC is contacting parents and guardians of the group of children directly, advising them that their child has been in a classroom environment where they might have been exposed to the germ that causes TB. If they have any questions or concerns, DHEC is providing them a toll-free number to contact the agency.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that some children at this school get a TB skin test to determine if they have been infected with the germ that can cause TB," said Dr. Melissa Overman, DHEC Upstate Regional Medical Director. "Not everyone infected with the TB germ becomes sick."

DHEC nurses will be at the school on Friday, May 31, 2013, to conduct the free TB skin tests. A DHEC nurse will return to the school the following Monday, June 3, to read each child's test result. Parents are being provided a consent form to have their child tested, along with additional information about TB.

Federal law prevents the release of certain medical information by the agency that could lead to the identification of patients being treated or others being tested. Therefore, the agency is withholding the name of the school and the associated individual's name.

To learn more about TB, visit


For media inquiries:
Jim Beasley - (803) 898-7769