SD health officials notifying staff, students of possible tuberculosis exposure in San Ysidro, Vista

SAN DIEGO - Public health officials planned Thursday to notify people at school campuses at both ends of San Diego County that they may have been exposed to tuberculosis.

The county Heath and Human Services Agency says people may have been exposed by unidentified carriers at Vista High School and San Ysidro Middle School.

The period of exposure at Vista High School was between Aug. 20 and Oct. 30, according to the HHSA. At San Ysidro Middle School, exposure might have occurred between July 31 and Nov. 28.

Free testing will take place at San Ysidro Middle School on Dec. 10 and at Vista High School eight days later.

"Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "TB usually requires many hours of close, indoor contact to
spread to others, so most people who are exposed in classrooms do not get infected or develop the disease."

The illness is treatable with medication, she said. Her deputy, Dr. Eric McDonald, said there are usually more tuberculosis cases in San Diego County each year than most other places around the country, though the local infection rate has been declining recently.

HHSA officials said 213 cases of TB have been reported in the region so far this year compared to 263 for all of 2011.

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