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Person at St. Charles middle school tests positive for tuberculosis

"Health officials stress that the public should not be concerned," the press release said. "Those identified as close contacts are being notified and tested."

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A person at Hollenbeck Middle School in St. Charles was diagnosed with an active case of tuberculosis(TB), a press release from the St. Charles County Health Department said Monday.

The press release said health officials are working with Francis Howell School District officials to contact students and staff members who may have come in contact with the person. The release did not provide any information about the person or say if they are a student or staff member.

"TB is a disease spread through the air from one person to another during prolonged, repeated, and close contact with an individual who is infected with active tuberculosis," the press release said. "People are most likely to spread it to those they spend time with every day."

The release said symptoms include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, chest pain or coughing up blood or phlegm. Other symptoms can include weakness, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

Not everyone infected with tuberculosis bacteria becomes sick. Health officials say a person with inactive or latent tuberculosis doesn't feel sick or have symptoms and cannot spread it to others.

Tuberculosis is treated by a regimen of antibiotics.

"Health officials stress that the public should not be concerned," the press release said. "Those identified as close contacts are being notified and tested by the SCCDPH."

Any other St. Charles County residents who want to be tested can call the health department at 636-949-7484 to make an appointment. The test cost is $20.

5 On Your Side's Alex Fees contributed to this report.

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