Margaret Hazlett, dean of the College, informed the campus of a case of active tuberculosis (TB) on F&M’s campus through an email sent Friday, Feb. 21. The ill person is now off campus at home.
In her email, Hazlett explained that TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. It is not spread through casual contact.
Hazlett also encouraged the campus community to remain calm, explaining that most people exposed to TB are protected by their immune system and do not become ill. Yet, the bacterium can remain dormant. Symptoms of active TB include a cough that lasts longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pain, night sweats, fatigue, weakness, nausea, fever, chills and coughing up blood.
According to the email, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health has been notified and will be conducting a medical investigation to assess if and where TB has spread. In order to do so, the College has provided the Department of Health a short list of students and faculty that may have been exposed to the ill person.
If you would like more information, please consult the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH orwww.health.state.pa.us.
Additional information also can be found at the following Centers for Disease Control website:www.cdc.gov/TB.