Washburn Confirms Student Diagnosed With Tuberculosis

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- A Washburn University student has contracted the infectious disease Tuberculosis, the first case this year in Shawnee County.

School officials say the student is responding to treatment and a full recovery is expected.

On average the Shawnee County Health Agency sees about three to five cases per year TB. Last year, they reported none but in 2009 the county saw eleven cases.

Washburn health officials say while they are taking the matter seriously, there is no reason for wide spread panic.
Director of Student Health Services at Washburn University, Shirley Dinkel said, "It's always a concern just like the level of concern as when the flu hits the campus. It's very rare for someone that comes into contact with TB to actually get the disease so i don't think its cause for alarm but we will follow protocol so we can identify the people that may be at risk."

Health officials say that TB is spread through the air by coughing, laughing singing and sneezing, and can only be contracted by prolonged close contact of several hours a day over several days with someone infected.

Washburn will also have campus wide blood testing available to students and faculty next week.

For more information on TB, you can visit www.cdc.gov