BREAKING: Member of UH community confirmed to have tuberculosis
Updated 4:23 p.m.: University spokesperson Chris Stipes said in an email that only students who received notification via email of the situation have potentially been exposed.
The University is following the protocols outlined by the City of Houston Health Department in handling a tuberculosis case, Stipes said. As part of the investigation, the Health Department will test and treat anyone who may have been exposed — those who received the email.
For someone to contract the infection, however, they likely had extensive direct contact with someone who has active, contagious tuberculosis.
Additionally, there will be presentations at 1 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Fine Arts Building’s Dudley Recital Hall discussing the infection.
10:27 a.m.: A member of the UH community has been diagnosed with and is undergoing treatment for tuberculosis, according to an email sent to some students, faculy and staff.
The individual is currently at home recovering, according to the email.
“Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis,” according to the Center for Disease Control. “The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.”
Although spread through the air, TB is a hard disease to catch. The conditions have to be just right for the bacteria to go directly from one’s lungs to another individual. The infection can be cured and prevented if identified.
One would have to be coughed on or spoken to closely enough for them to inhale the bacteria.
“City of Houston Health Department officials will be on campus at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, and 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Fine Arts, 132D Building — Dudley Recital Hall, to give a presentation to students and employees about tuberculosis and to answer any questions you might have,” according to the email.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.