Fort Bend County, Texas has a TB problem

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Fort Bend County, Texas has a TB problem

Employees and students of a second Fort Bend ISD high school can be added to the growing population of Fort Bend County residents going about their daily routine totally unaware of the County’s ability to keep up with suspected & active cases of TB in the County.

In an update to a February 11, 2017 blog post reporting local county and school district authorities were notified of a suspected case of tuberculosis at Clements High School and the inability of County health authorities to keep up with the increasing level of suspect & actual cases, we now learn students at a second Fort Bend high school will be tested for tuberculosis.

TB

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KHOU reports Fort Bend County Health and Human Services “are conducting a routine public health investigation” at George Bush High School in Fort Bend ISD “as a result of active tuberculosis.”

According to Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, they are conducting a routine public health investigation at the school, “as a result of active tuberculosis.” 

They said protocol requires an investigation for possible infections from close contacts of the source case. The testing will take place on Monday, June 19. 

Letters were sent to the families of students who need to be tested. There was also a letter sent to the families of students who don’t need testing. 

Officials said testing positive doesn’t mean you have TB, instead it means the person was just exposed to the bacteria and is infected”

In a Tuberculosis Annual Progress Report for Calendar 2015, Fort Bend County Clinical Health Services reported:

It is proving challenging for the three RN Case Managers and two DOT/CI nurses to keep up with the suspect/case load. There were 19 verified TB Cases in 2014 and 27 verified cases in 2015 utilizing the same number of staff. This does not take into account that the TB Case Managers also work the STD and Newborn Screening program.”

Subsequent to the publication of the annual progress report, Fort Bend County Commissioners Court deliberated multiple agenda items pertaining to the increasing suspect and active tuberculosis case load– two if the agenda items included a January 24th and March 28th application for $134,397 in Texas Department of State Health Services funds to include attendance a TB Symposium in Austin and a May 23rd  application for $99,186.00 from the Texas DSHS to contract with Oak Bend Medical Center and West Houston Radiology for tuberculosis diagnosis and case management.

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