Commack School District confirms tuberculosis case

COMMACK - Officials at Commack High School announced today that someone at the school was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Phone calls and letters went out to parents and employees in the Commack School District today, informing them that an individual at the high school is being treated for pulmonary tuberculosis.

Suffolk health officials say the person is no longer in school and emphasize there is no need for panic. They are now looking into how and where the patient may have contracted the infection, and whom the person has been in contact with.

Doctors say the only way to contract tuberculosis from another person is through air droplets.

"So somebody has to have close and persistent contact and the person who is affected, generally has to do things like sneeze or cough in very close proximity," says Suffolk Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken.

Tomarken adds that about 400 people in the district who may have been exposed to tuberculosis were notified today.

Tuberculosis symptoms include a bad cough that lasts more than three weeks, night sweats and coughing up blood or phlegm. Leaving the condition untreated could be fatal.

Tuberculosis information sessions will be held at Commack High School Thursday and Friday starting at 7 p.m.

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