Public Health evaluating active Tuberculosis case at Heritage High School

The risk of the disease spreading to students, staff and the public is low according to Clark County Public Health officials

VANCOUVER – Clark County Public Health is gathering information about an active case of tuberculosis at Heritage High School. While the individual spent time in the building prior to schools closing in March, the risk of the disease spreading to students, staff and the public is low. Public Health currently has no evidence of additional cases at Heritage High School.

A local health care provider reported the possible tuberculosis (TB) case involving an individual associated with Heritage High School to Public Health on June 4. Public Health confirmed the case on June 6. Health privacy laws prevent Public Health from disclosing how the person is associated with the school.

Public Health is working closely with Evergreen Public Schools and Heritage High School. Public Health has identified about 150 students and staff who may have been in close contact with the person who tested positive for active TB while they were potentially contagious. Public Health has mailed letters to those individuals and is recommending they contact their health care providers for TB testing. 

As the Public Health evaluation continues, it may expand to include other locations where the individual spent prolonged periods of time. Public Health will directly notify those individuals who may have been exposed and who are potentially at risk for infection.

Tuberculosis is caused by a germ that is spread from person to person through the air. TB is usually spread through prolonged close contact with someone who is contagious. Active TB disease does not develop immediately after a person is infected. Early identification and treatment of people who are infected can prevent them from developing active TB disease.

Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.