The numbers rise again as more people are tested for Tuberculosi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The numbers rise again as more people are tested for Tuberculosis in southern Indiana

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- It's a disease health experts say is rare in the United States, but a student from Rock Creek Community Academy in Clark County was recently diagnosed with Tuberculosis. 

"In this instance, it was obviously a much larger group of people that had potential exposure to the index case," said Clark County Health Department Administrator Mike Meyer. 

He says 295 people from the school were given skin tests last week and 49 came back positive. Meyer says 310 more people were tested this week and 28 were positive. 

There are five more reported positive skin tests out of Floyd County. 

According to Meyer, the skin test is just an indicator that there might be an issue. 

"Then you have the chest X-ray and at that point you can be put on medication if the doctor so chooses that would prevent you from getting an infection and that's exactly what we want to do," he explained.  

State health officials say only two people have had abnormal chest x-rays so far and only one had symptoms. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, TB is spread through germs in the air and usually affects the lungs. 

Meyer says a state epidemiologist will begin doing research soon and looking into how the student got the disease. 

"It's likely that we will never know," he said about how the student contracted TB. "But we will have some better idea of what is going on as far as transmission in this local community." 

As for more people who may have been exposed, Meyer says there are no plans for another mass testing but they do need track more people down. 

"There are individuals that we're checking school rosters and so forth and contacts and trying to make sure we've covered those individuals," he said. 

State health officials say the student who's been diagnosed with TB is in isolation and is responding well to treatment. 

More: More than 50 in southern Indiana test positive for tuberculosis

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