Mizzou student diagnosed with tuberculosis; Others might need testing

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A Mizzou student has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, otherwise referred to as TB. MU spokesman Christian Basi tells Missourinet the student left the Columbia campus immediately after testing positive for the infectious disease.

“The Boone County Department of Public Health is in very close contact with the individual and we also have had contact with him,” says Basi. “They are receiving regular updates on how things are progressing with him.”

MU officials, including those from Student Health and University Physicians, are working closely with the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services as they identify additional individuals who might need testing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TB is most often spread when someone with active tuberculosis of the lungs coughs near others – spreading the bacteria through the air. It is not spread by touching surfaces or by sharing food or drinks.

“Our health officials have advised us that there is no current concern about exposure,” Basi says. “Once the individual has left the campus and left the area, there is no additional concern about additional exposure to anyone.”

Due to health care privacy laws, few details can be released about the individual. Whether the student lived on campus was not disclosed.

“That’s not something that I can provide because we could wind up with identification of the student,” says Basi.

About 6,300 of Mizzou’s 30,000 students live in dorms or Greek houses.

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