Tuberculosis investigation at preschool

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Health Department is investigating what could be a positive case of Tuberculosis.

Preschoolers at the Chester United Methodist Church were sent home with a copy of a letter saying a 3-year-old just tested positive for tuberculosis.

School reps say the health department has taken prompt action in further testing the child just to be sure and should be able to confirm whether or not other kids were exposed in a matter of days.

Dr. Parham Jaberi says there's no need to panic since the initial test could be a mistake or a false positive.

"I would urge folks to wait a few days to allow us to investigate any potential cases in the community and we'll be in contact with those agencies, organizations, whether it's a school or a work place, and we'll do what's called a risk assessment to see who could have potentially be exposed and what we need to do and that's only done after the person is actually a case," said Jaberi.

A parent of this preschool contacted NBC12 concerned about the letter. He immediately took his 3-year-old child to the doctor's office to get tested. But the health department says until the case is confirmed positive, there's no need to rush out and get tested.

"If any parent or guardian would like to take their child, explain their situation with the physician it's up to them. We always encourage communication with their primary care providers. We're not recommending blanket testing at this time," said Jaberi.

The concern for any sort of exposure or outbreak of tuberculosis is extremely low.

The national average has about 5 TB cases for every 100,000 people. In Chesterfield County there were 5 cases last year among the 300,000 people in the county.

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