Faculty member tests positive for TB - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Faculty member tests positive for TB

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - KUAM News has confirmed an employee at a local elementary school has tested positive for tuberculosis, prompting a mass screening of the entire campus. The Department of Education is working closely with the Department of Public Health to test students and faculty at Upi Elementary School for tuberculosis.

DOE Student Support Services Administrator Jessica Camacho says the school received word last week that an employee had tested positive for active TB. She said, "I can only say that it's a staff member and part of personnel at DOE. However as a precautionary measure to cover all our bases for all exposure, everyone is going to be receiving the TB shots and reading."

Public Health and DOE have sent out forms to parents in order for students to take part in a TB clinic set to take place on March 15. Reading will take place two days after. Nurses are deployed to the Yigo campus to help with testing. "Information has gone out, the letters have gone out, authorizations have gone out and so we're hoping that we're going to get a really good response from the families," Camacho added.

She says each school is required to ensure students are up to date with immunizations. Nurses inspect records during the summertime and at the end of the school year or anytime students first register for school. As for employees, she says they're required to get tested every year. 

In this case, it may have been confirmed through Public Health by the clinic. "As usual, we always follow up with all the students to make sure their shots are up to date. And to make sure that's the same with our employees at DOE and personnel," Camacho said. "In the case of Upi, it was an employee at DOE and this was a routine check for this employee. And so they were negative last year and positive this year."

While DOE reviews students' records once again, Camacho is urging all parents to ensure their child's shot records are up to date. "Every year, we're going to keep emphasizing to update immunization shots. Please be very diligent with it and the schools will do exactly the same thing to make sure the health and safety of your child is of utmost importance," she said.

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