BREAKING: Second case of Tuberculosis discovered

Zoë Dehmer
Staff Writer

A second student has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis following last week’s initial case, according to an email sent to the VCU community by provost Beverly J. Warren on Tuesday night.

The student was diagnosed with the disease through a routine screening that VCU requires, according to the alert.

The second case came less than one week after a first case of tuberculosis was spotted. Approximately 300 students were potentially exposed by a student who attended classes before being diagnosed with the disease.  The university has not yet confirmed how many students may have been exposed by the current case.

State health officials have deemed the two cases unrelated.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that typically affects the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats, and is generally transmitted via close contact through the air.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 9,945 cases were reported in the United States in 2012. The Virginia Department of Health reported 235 of those cases, ranking it 8th in the nation for the number of reported tuberculosis cases.

Despite the proximity of the two cases to one another, the Virginia Department of Health says the risk to the VCU community remains “insignificant” based on an analysis of campus layout and the schedules of students and staff.

VCU is notifying anyone who may have been exposed to the disease and will offer screenings through university health services.

 

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