MSDH investigating tuberculosis at the University of Mississippi

Published 11:34 am Monday, April 9, 2018

Today the Mississippi State Department of Health announces that a case of active tuberculosis has been confirmed in a student at the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus. MSDH has been working with officials from the University of Mississippi to identify students and staff who may have been potentially exposed to the active TB case.

MSDH with cooperation from the University will initially test approximately 500 individuals for TB infection. The individuals will be notified by a letter with details about the upcoming testing. A second round of testing may be necessary in the next several weeks for those who may have been exposed more recently.

Exposure to active TB disease can result in TB infection. TB infection is not contagious and has no symptoms, but can develop into active TB disease over time. A course of treatment is recommended for those with TB infection to prevent future TB disease. Symptoms of active TB disease include fever, weight loss, night sweats and cough.

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“The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is a top priority for the University of Mississippi,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc said. “We will continue to work closely with the Mississippi State Department of Health and appreciate and trust their guidance and assistance to ensure the public health of our community.”

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers explained that cases of TB are seen every year in the state, and sometimes these kinds of investigations in school and university settings are necessary. Ensuring that individuals potentially exposed to active TB disease are tested and treated if needed is an activity MSDH conducts routinely.”