Tuberculosis case sparks testing at St. Louis Park High School

St. Louis Park High School will offer on-site tuberculosis testing for 166 students and staff who were exposed to someone with an active TB lung infection at the school.

The Hennepin County Public Health Department said the patient sought medical care in November.

Because the risk of transmission is low, the department was able to take time to identify the specific individuals who should be tested, said Dean Tsukayama, the state tuberculosis consultant for the Minnesota Department of Health and the medical director of the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic.

"But we do need to identify who might be at risk of TB in the future and treat them before they get TB," said Tsukayama. "I don't think there's any reason to panic in this situation."

The testing is set for later this month for affected people.

If there's more transmission within that group than expected, officials will expand the tests, said Tsukayama.

Minnesota identifies about 150 tuberculosis infections annually. Approximately two-thirds of those cases are lung infections that are contagious and require a contact investigation by public health authorities.

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