Guam - The Department of Public Health is responding to an active tuberculosis case at Maria Ulloa Elementary School. In fact, they're encouraging those who may have the symptoms to seek medical treatment. Public Health Acting Program Coordinator Estelle Alig says her office received a referral from a private clinic on a suspected case of active tuberculosis at Ulloa Elementary.

An employee at the Dededo campus has been told to stay home until cleared by a physician. Public Health will be conducting TB skin tests on campus on October 5.

Alig said, "We're currently working with school officials to gather information on all identified contacts to ensure that those students who were affected as well as staff and faculty are identified to undergo screening on October 5."  She added, "Screening is set to be completed by October 11. Should an individual fail to complete the screening by that date, they will be excluded from school."

Public Health Medical Director Dr. Anna Kutty Mathew says signs and symptoms of TB include ongoing or prolonged cough that lasts about two to three weeks, fever, weight loss, and weakness of the body.  "Active TB is when someone is sick from the TB. Inactive TB is dormant or sleeping or latent TB infection, meaning that you have the TB germs in your body, but it's just not making you sick; but active TB will make you sick and you'll have symptoms like prolonged cough, fever, losing weight, loss of appetite, coughing out blood, etc." she explained.

If you've contracted the infectious disease, stay home, cover your cough or sneeze, use a tissue and throw it away or wear a facemask to prevent airborne droplets from spreading. In the meantime, Alig encourages parents to become active in preventing the spread of the disease.

"Just encourage all the parents, if you have a student at Maria Ulloa Elementary School, look into their bags to make sure their forms are completed, signed and returned to the school," Alig recommended.