ISU Headlines

Health officials confirm one Idaho State University student had tuberculosis; officials will contact those in closest contact with patient for testing

Posted January 14, 2013

Idaho State University is working with Southeastern Idaho Public Health officials to notify students who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis (TB).

One individual who was in classes at Idaho State University in Pocatello has been diagnosed with TB.  Based upon symptoms, the patient was tested, the diagnosis was confirmed, and treatment has begun.

The individual attended classes during the Fall 2012 semester."Individuals who have had the most exposure to this TB case have been contacted with specific instructions to follow," says Dr. Ron Solbrig, ISU Student Health Center. "TB is unlikely to be spread through brief, casual contact with a person who has TB."

Idaho State University is working closely with public health officials, and has identified a small minority of students, staff, and faculty at Idaho State University who may have been exposed.

Tuberculosis is uncommon in Idaho. In fact, in 2012, only 15 cases were diagnosed in Idaho.

"You can only get infected by breathing in TB germs that a person coughs into the air. You cannot get TB from someone's clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces where a TB patient has been," reports Dr. Solbrig.

Symptoms of active TB include more than 3 weeks of cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.

For questions regarding testing and screening, please call Southeastern Idaho Public Health at 234-5888.

For additional information about TB, please visit www.siphidaho.org or www.cdc.gov.

###