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Wayne Township Students Exposed To TB

Last updated on Thursday, May 3, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Wayne Township school officials notified parents on Wednesday about a possibility that dozens of children at Westlake Elementary School could have been exposed to Tuberculosis.

Officials said the students may have been exposed during a volunteer tutoring program sometime between February and April, RTV6's Ebone Monet reported.

Mary Lang, a spokeswoman for Wayne Township Metropolitan School District, said administrators sent students home with a note alerting parents of a school volunteer with the disease.

"Most of it is tutoring to obviously do better with their academic work, so you can probably imagine the type of contact that would involve," Lang said.

Officials said the volunteer came in contact with more than 40 students over the two-month period, which concerned parents.

"I have mixed reactions about if (students) might have come in contact with it or something like that, because it's something you don't hear of anymore," grandparent Tom Lewis said.

Pediatrician Eric Yancy said that just one encounter is enough to spread the disease.

"You can actually have an infection acquired with just one contact. If someone has an active case of TB and coughs or sneezes and spreads that in the air, you can actually get it from that one contact," Yancy said.

The Marion County Health Department said the chance that students became infected with TB was relatively low.

"In most healthy children, even if they do get an exposure, it's not going to lead to the disease. But having said that, we would want to detect it and treat it," Yancy said. "There certainly will be a lot of concern. That's absolutely why we want to get the word out."

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