On February 6, 2014, Watkins Mill HS sent a letter to parents/guardians notifying them of a confirmed active case of tuberculosis (TB) at the school. Testing of students and staff will not be done until late March.
However, the MCPS Superintendent has not held a press conference to answer community concerns as the Superintendent of Schools and Health Department Officer in Kalamazoo, MI has done for its recent TB case at a local school. In Kalamazoo, the TB 'active case' was confirmed last week on February 11 and the press conference was held February 13. Answers to questions were live blogged (see Comments section at the press conference link). Testing of students and staff begin this week.
Tonight, at 7 pm in the Watkins Mill HS Media Center, the PTA's invited DHHS TB Control Staff person will answer parent/guardian questions about TB. For example, the parents might ask:
1. Why is testing of students/staff delayed until late March, when the MI health department began testing the Monday following the announcement of an active case at their school?
2. How many TB cases were in Montgomery County for 2013? Is Montgomery County once again #1 in the state for having the highest number of TB cases? (2012 data).
3. How much is this costing the county since testing is provided free to those that will be tested? How much does treatment cost?
4. Is it known whether this is a multi-drug resistant (MDR) case?