Canutillo HS | Photo courtesy Canutillo ISD

Tuberculosis Investigation yields four positive tests in Canutillo ISD

The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that four individuals have tested positive for Tuberculosis (TB) infection in the recent investigation involving Canutillo High School.

“One of the most important parts of these investigations is that it gives us the opportunity to educate the general public about the presence of TB in our community, and to teach them not only how the disease is spread, but what the signs and symptoms are, and why it is so important to be tested if you may have been exposed,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We cannot thank the Canutillo Independent School District enough for their cooperation and commitment to the community.”

The Department identified 165 individuals who may have been exposed to a person at the school who was diagnosed with active TB disease. A total of 145 individuals have been screened to-date.

Out of the 145 tests for which we have results, four were positive. The following is a chart describing the current investigation standings.

Persons Potentially Exposed 165
Tested To-Date 145
Test Rate 88%
Results Known 145
Number of Positive Results 4
Positivity Rate 3%

Officials add that the positivity rate of 3% is well below the estimated positivity rate of 5% and 10% in El Paso.

Those tested by DPH have been notified of their results. The four patients who tested positive for TB infection have been evaluated by a nurse specializing in TB and received chest X-rays to ensure the disease had not developed in their lungs.

Last year, 32 cases of active TB were identified and treated in the greater El Paso region with 36 in 2017 and 43 in 2016.

Every year the Department identifies and treats approximately 250 latent (non-infectious) cases of the disease.