EPHRAIM Snow College and public health officials are taking steps to deal with a reported case of tuberculosis on the school's campus.
Last week, the college learned that a student who had been on campus throughout 2007 had been diagnosed with the active form of TB.
"The college administration and Central Utah Public Health Department have developed a course of action to insure the safety of all students, faculty, staff and visitors," said Snow President Scott L. Wyatt in a campus-wide e-mail last Friday.
Wyatt said the college and health department were jointly compiling a list of friends, roommates, students and staff who may have had contact with the infected student.
The health department would offer free tuberculosis testing to those individuals, he said.
"In addition to this group we have identified, any person is invited to volunteer for testing," Wyatt's e-mail stated.
That first round of testing is being held tomorrow on the school's campus.
According to Snow spokesman Greg Dart, the college was notified on Wednesday last week that the student, from Taiwan, had been diagnosed with the disease. She had attended Snow during the spring and fall semesters last year, and was present on campus but not enrolled in classes during the summer semester.
She went back to Taiwan in December at the end of the last semester.
Dart said it was uncertain when the woman contracted the disease, but that she had exhibited symptoms of TB while at the school.
He said that people who had potentially been in contact with the student would be notified.
"We've compiled a fairly lengthy list," he said. "Many students are not here on campus anymore. The health department will be seeking out anyone who doesn't turn up for (Tuesday's) testing or any subsequent testing."
Dart said it was not likely another case of the disease would be found on campus. "Usually you need to be in a confined space with a person for four or more hours breathing the same air" as a person with TB in order to be considered at risk for becoming infected.
A person can be infected with tuberculosis without exhibiting symptoms, since the disease comes in both a latent and an active form. People with medical conditions or who on medications that suppress the immune system are at greater risk to contract and become ill with active TB.Although the college did not release the name of the student, those concerned about their risk of TB because of the incident were invited to call Debbie Lindsey at the Central Utah Public Health Department, (435) 835-2231.
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