On Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced two individuals have tested positive for Tuberculosis (TB) infection in the recent investigation involving Hanks High School.
The department identified 140 individuals who may have been exposed to a person at the school who was diagnosed with active TB disease and a 138 individuals have been screened. Tests revealed two positive results.
The following is a chart describing the current investigation standings.
|Persons Potentially Exposed||140|
|Number of Positive Results||2|
Public Health officials estimate a positivity rate for El Paso between 5% and 10%, and the actual rate of 1.5% is well below what is expected.
Those tested by DPH have been notified of their results and the two patients who tested positive for TB infection will be evaluated by a nurse specializing in TB. They will also receive X-rays to ensure the disease has not developed in their lungs. Those who tested negative for TB will be retested within the next 8 to 10 weeks as a precaution.
“While we wish there were no TB in El Paso, the fact is that the disease is part of our everyday life,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We are pleased with this low number, and hope to see similar results in February when we retest these individuals.”
Last year, 43 cases of active TB were identified and treated in the greater El Paso region with 38 in 2015 and 44 in 2014. Every year, the department identifies and treats approximately 250 latent cases of the disease.
Residents with questions or concerns are urged to visit www.EPHealth.com and click on the TB Investigation section for updated information and data regarding TB, how it is spread, and how to protect yourself from the disease.