A Vista Murrieta High School student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis, officials said Thursday.
The County of Riverside Department of Public Health and Murrieta Valley Unified School District issued a joint news release, stating they are working together to contact students and staff who may have been exposed to the illness.
The afflicted student, who is not being identified due to confidentiality requirements and has not been at school since last week, is being treated and is expected to make a full recovery, according to the statement.
Parents who have students at Vista Murrieta High School should have received a phone call today from Principal Mick Wager notifying them of the situation.
“The health and well-being of our students and staff is my top priority. We appreciate the support of officials at the County of Riverside Department of Public Health and are following their protocol for identifying and testing students and staff who may have been exposed.”According to the joint statement:
“Those students and staff who are identified as being at risk will receive an email notice and phone call from the school within the next few days. There will also be a written notice mailed to those individuals from the health department.
“As a precautionary measure, the health department is recommending that anyone who receives the notice be screened with a TB skin test at a clinic being planned at the school.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected."
Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser emphasized that the risk of transmission is very low.
“While the risk of infection is slight, it is important that those who are notified take the time to get tested,” Kaiser said. “It will provide peace of mind for those who are concerned about being exposed or begin the next step in the evaluation process.”
The student will not return to school until a medical clearance is issued, officials said.
Karen Parris, spokeswoman for Murrieta Valley Unified, said the school has identified the students who may have been exposed.
"They will be receiving a second call and email from the school tomorrow with information about a TB testing clinic that will be held at the school," Parris said. "However, the incubation period following exposure is 2-10 weeks so waiting at least two weeks before testing is recommended."