Tampa, FL - A confirmed case of Tuberculosis (TB) involving a University of South Florida student on the Tampa campus has been reported to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
The student is undergoing TB drug therapy, and recovering in isolation. Health officials say the student is no longer a health risk to others.
Approximately 90 students, faculty, staff, and community members who were at risk of exposure were notified and will begin testing this group next week.
"USF and the Department of Health are working together to ensure the health and safety of all students, employees, and members of the student's community," said Florida Department of Health - Hillsborough County Tuberculosis Center Manager Jylmarie Lewis.
This is the first case of TB on the campus in 2013. The last case of TB at USF was in May of 2012 and the incidents appear to be unrelated.
TB usually infects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body, causing serious illness. It is spread when an infected person coughs, talks, or sneezes untreated TB germs into the air. Anyone who breathes in the germs can become infected, but typically, only persons who have had very close, day-to-day contact with the infected person run the risk of contracting the disease.
TB is less contagious than measles, mumps, chicken pox, and influenza, and, even if a person is infected, the disease may remain dormant and not contagious to others. For more information about TB, visit www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/general/tb.htm.
Students and employees of USF with additional questions may call the Student Health Services nurse line at (813) 974-1797, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. If a student or employee not identified/notified by the Department of Health wants to be tested for TB, they may schedule an appointment at Student Health Services by calling (813) 974-2331. Student Health Services will charge for services rendered.
Below is a copy of an email USF sent out to students around 10 a.m. Tuesday informing them of the health case:
I am e-mailing you today as a courtesy to let you know that a confirmed case of tuberculosis (TB) has been reported on the Tampa campus. The affected student is being treated medically in isolation and is no longer a health risk to others, as he/she is under the direction and care of the Hillsborough County Health Department TB unit. The 90 students and employees who were potentially at risk of exposure have been identified and already notified directly by the Health Department to come in for testing.
Given USF's population of more than 40,000 and the number of TB cases reported annually in Hillsborough County, the occurrence is not out of the statistical norm, according to the Hillsborough County Health Department. The last case of TB on campus was in May of 2012 and appears to be unrelated to the current incidence.
TB usually infects the lungs, but can affect other parts of the body, causing serious illness. The good news is that TB is less contagious than measles, mumps, chicken pox, and influenza-it is spread when an infected person repeatedly coughs, talks, sings, or sneezes untreated TB germs into the air. Persons who breathe in the germs can become infected. Typically, only persons who have had very close, day-to-day, contact with the infected person run the risk of contracting the disease. Even if a person is infected, the disease may never become active and make the person sick. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/general/tb.htm for more information about TB. Additional information and any updates will be posted on the university's main website at www.usf.edu.
If you have questions, call USF.s Student Health Services nurse line at (813) 974-1797. Nurses will be available from 8 a.m. . 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to answer your calls. If you are still concerned and want to be tested for TB, you can schedule an appointment with Student Health Services by calling (813) 974-2331 (there will be a charge for the test) or with your personal physician.
Be assured that both USF and the Hillsborough County Health Department have your best interests at heart. If there is any additional news or updates on the situation, I will be sure to provide you with another update.
Michael A. Freeman, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President and Dean for Students
All other inquiries can be directed to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8047.