Health Department Investigating Case of Tuberculosis at Skyline High School in Oakland

Health officials on Monday said they are managing a case of tuberculosis at Skyline High School in Oakland.

The Alameda County Public Health Department said a person at the campus was recently diagnosed with active tuberculosis disease.

Staff at the high school and Oakland Unified School District are working closely with the health department to identify anyone who may have been exposed, officials said.

Some 200-300 Skyline students will be tested, as will others who've been exposed to the victim. Experts say most people who get TB are not contagious. The testing begins next week.

About a dozen people turned out Monday night for an informational meeting with school district and county health officials to talk about the affected student. No one was more interested than Scott Strong.

"The person we are talking about is the person my daughter is hanging with as a boyfriend-girlfriend type thing," Strong said.

TB is spread when one breathes in the contagious air particles from someone with the bacteria. Health officials say the chances of contracting TB is minimal.

"Tuberculosis does take prolonged exposure to be passed from one person to another," said Dr. Erica Pan of the Alameda County Health Department.

That is of no comfort to Strong.

"The person, as my daughter told me, was coughing up blood," he said. "He's in the hospital; he's been in the hospital for several weeks."

Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the Alameda County Public Health Department Tuberculosis Control program at 510-667-3096.

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