FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2014
DHEC, Berkeley County School District Investigate TB Case
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Late Monday afternoon, DHEC was informed by a medical facility of a possible case of tuberculosis infection involving a student at Stratford High School, and took immediate action to thoroughly assess and contain the situation. DHEC's standard, thorough protocol went into effect:
- DHEC medical staff met with the patient Tuesday morning for an extensive Q&A to determine how and where any other people might have been exposed.
- The patient is in isolation to receive round-the-clock care and prevent spread of the infection.
- DHEC received a sample from the patient's doctors on Wednesday morning and confirmed the tuberculosis infection within just a few hours.
- Because the patient is a student, DHEC is working closely with school officials to determine where others could potentially have been exposed, such as the student's bus and classrooms.
- This helps DHEC determine who else should be tested as soon as possible.
- The school district informed parents Wednesday afternoon through its reverse 911 system of the situation and directed them to the district and DHEC websites for more information.
- Also on Wednesday, letters went home from school to the pool of students most likely to have come in contact with the patient. That letter includes a release form to give DHEC permission to test their child.
- The patient's family and close contacts are being tested Thursday, and students will be scheduled for testing Thursday and Friday.
- Lab results, available within 72 hours of testing, will determine the need for other action.
DHEC Director Catherine Templeton offered praise for the school district's response: "This is how our schools should respond when notified of a health threat. We applaud Superintendent Thompson and the school board for their wisdom to notify the parents as soon as the lab confirmed the case."
For media inquiries:
Mark Plowden – (803) 898-9518
Email – Mark.Plowden@dhec.sc.gov