SALISBURY, Md. (WJZ)– There’s concern tonight at Salisbury University– hit with three cases of tuberculosis in recent months! Now the university is warning students who may have come in contact with those patients, to get tested!
Christie Ileto has the latest.
More than 8,700 students at Salisbury University and three of them have confirmed cases of tuberculosis.
“It’s definitely scary to think about, but I think the odds of actually getting it are low,” one student said.
Students are on alert, as health officials determine if the three infected students got sick from the same source.
The first case was reported in October. The second in March. The third weeks later.
Ileto: “How unusual is it for a university to have 3 cases in one school year?
”That… especially if they weren’t related would be very unusual,” said said Dr. John Cmar.
John Cmar heads the infectious disease department at Sinai Hospital and says TB won’t spread as quickly across a campus as–say the flu, but can still be contagious.
“It’s something that if someone has it as an infection in their lungs, if you cough and you breathe it, and are constantly in close contact with someone, there’s a significant chance you could get it,” Cmar said.
The health department is reaching out to those who may have come in contact with this latest infected student. So far, 385 letters have been sent out since October.
They’re hoping free skin tests will reveal if anyone else has TB and doesn’t know it though health officials warn positive tests don’t always mean you have an active case… just… at one time… (you) may have been exposed to the germ.
The student who first got sick at Salisbury University is no longer infected and is back to normal.
The university has said that any student who received the letter and did not get tested for the bacteria cannot register for classes again next fall.