VCU warns students of tuberculosis scare - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

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VCU warns students of tuberculosis scare

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

There is new information now on a health alert on VCU's campus.  Some three hundred students could've been exposed to tuberculosis. The threat is low- but the university is taking a cautious approach.

The big message from VCU's health department is if you haven't been contacted, you have nothing to worry about. And even for the three hundred students who may have had class with the infected student, the risk is there, but it is very low.

"If we have not contacted you; you do not need to worry," said Dr. Margaret Roberson "You have not been exposed to that particular student."

As soon as VCU learned of the student's illness from the Richmond Department of Health they went to work personally informing each student in those classes.

Still the idea that many students could've come into contact with such a serious illness scares senior Audrina Farrar.

"I have no idea how 300 people could be exposed to tuberculosis," said Farrar. "It just blows my mind."

Dr. Roberson said even for those three hundred students the risk of becoming seriously ill is still low.

"It is not spread by casual contact like sharing water bottles or drinking glasses and things like that."

But it is contagious, and if you contract the illness you may not even know it.

"They are infected but they do not feel sick and they do not get symptoms," said Dr. Roberson.

That is why those students need to get tested right away to make sure they were not infected. If they were they need to begin treatment immediately.

Something students like Farrar appreciate.

"I think that is a good thing that they are letting people know so they can take further steps to get themselves checked out," she said.

Farrar found out about the scare from of all places- Curt Autry's facebook page.

She said she wishes the school had sent an alert to the entire school.

They posted the info on their web site, but decided not to blast the information out to the entire campus community, choosing only to directly contact those exposed.

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