TB Case Reported in MN Middle School

Central Middle School, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN – Another active tuberculosis case in a Minnesota school has been reported.  Eden Prairie Central Middle School principal Nate Swenson sent an email alerting parents of the issue on Wednesday afternoon.

According to KARE 11, the email said the Hennepin County Department of Health confirmed an individual was receiving treatment for TB and had alerted the district about the case in mid-January.  Swenson continued:

“Hennepin County Public Health’s recommendations are based on doing everything they can to contain TB and limit the risk of exposure to others. That includes waiting to notify others who may have had exposure until TB can be detected through a screening test. Although it is highly unlikely that any additional active cases of TB will be found, Hennepin County has dealt with similar situations on many occasions. We will continue to partner with them and follow their guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff members.”

According to the MN Dept. of Health website, Tuberculosis is “a serious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are two phases: latent infection and active disease. Active TB disease most often affects the lungs, but can involve any part of the body.

TB is transmitted through the air; extended close contact with someone with infectious TB disease is typically required for TB to spread.

Swenson’s email to parents did not include whom was infected with the disease or if the person was a student, staff or faculty at the school.  KARE 11 also reported the Department of Health said “approximately 100 people may have had prolonged exposure to the bacteria and will require additional screening.”

The Eden Prairie case is the second reported TB case of the 2016-17 school year. As Alpha News reported in January, it was revealed that an active TB case was reported at St. Louis Park High School.  The MN Department of Health alerted the school administration about the case in November, but the school did not inform parents until January, saying that the MN Department of Health advised the school to wait as it generally takes about two months after exposure to TB for testing to become effective. As in the Eden Prairie case, the person with TB in St. Louis Park schools was not identified as student, faculty or staff.