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DHEC confirms case of tuberculosis at middle school in Charleston County

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control have confirmed a case of tuberculosis at a middle school in the Charleston County School District.

The affected person is someone associated with C.E. Williams Middle School (South campus). That person is in isolation and remains so until DHEC has established they can no longer spread TB, according to state health officials.

DHEC officials say they are working with school leadership to conduct a contact investigation of the school.

“That includes evaluating the school layout and the activities of the case to determine the level of risk for classrooms, lunchrooms and other areas where students and staff gather,” DHEC said in a statement that was sent to parents and guardians on May 4.

A report by DHEC states that it is safe for students and teachers to be at the middle school.

“The TB germ is spread by infected people in a particular air space. The school building itself is not a source of infection,” DHEC officials said. “Everyone who may have been exposed to the germ has been contacted and will be tested. In order to spread the infection one must have had exposure to an infected person over an extended period of time. The likelihood of the infection spreading in a school setting is very minimal.”

DHEC said they were notified about the case on May 1, then told school administration and CCSD on May 3 about an investigation into the case. On May 4, health officials confirmed the case with the school and district staff.

Health officials said this incident does not have any connection to the tuberculosis case at the same school five years ago or the case at West Ashley High School nearly three years ago.

“This case is not connected to any previously documented TB case in the Charleston County School District,” DHEC said.

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