At least 50 students at Arnold High School have tested positive for Tuberculosis in Bay County. 700 students were tested on Friday and given the results Monday.
Last month an active case of Tuberculosis was discovered at the school. The Bay County Health Department has not made public whether the individual was a staff member or a student.
We spoke with the Health Department's Interim Director, Dr. Dennis Cookro Monday afternoon. He says the department was actually expecting the number of positives tests to be higher.
He says once a student tests positive more evaluation, including a chest x-ray, is needed to decide if treatment is necessary. He says there is no need to rush into treatment.
“What we are trying to do is treat the germ and kill the germ so that it doesn't come up later and cause the active disease, it's possible, it's not likely but it's possible that some people may have positive tests from an old exposure from somwhere else. Most likely the positive tests and the potential presence of the germ are from exposure at Arnold. None of the students are at risk of developing the disease months to years from now. We are going to have to repeat the test in a couple of weeks because a number of people at Arnold high school have not had enough time to even develope a positive skin test yet."
About 30 percent of the student body wasn't tested on Friday so the number of students who test positive for TB could still go up.
Dr. Cookro says families can meet with their private physicians to determine treatment, or come to the health department. He says the department will try to schedule appointments for students during their holiday break.