Alert: Tuberculosis Exposure in Hanover Schools & Health Department Response

Hanover, VA – Anticipation and unease fill the air as families and school staff are soon to receive alerts regarding potential exposure to an active tuberculosis (TB) case in numerous Hanover schools during the previous academic year.

Tuberculosis Exposure in Hanover Schools

A Disturbing Revelation: The Delayed Discovery

In a disquieting revelation, the local health district disclosed to 12 On Your Side that they only uncovered the TB case two weeks ago, despite the exposure occurring last year. The late awareness triggered an immediate flurry of activity amongst school staff to conduct contact tracing and notify everyone who could be at risk.

A Calming Assurance: Dr. Tom Franck’s Reassurance

Dr. Tom Franck, the comforting figurehead of the Chickahominy Health District, overseeing Hanover’s public health, offers a light of hope in these concerning times. He assures the community there’s no ongoing risk, as the individual with the active TB case is no longer part of the school environment.

A Race Against Time: Identifying Latent TB Cases

Currently, the health district, working hand-in-hand with the school division, is fervently searching for individuals who may be hosting latent TB cases. This term refers to asymptomatic, non-contagious infections that can lead to full-blown TB if left untreated.

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TB: The Silent Threat

TB, a deadly bacterial infection, is infamous for causing pneumonia. Dr. Bill Petri, an expert in infectious diseases, explains how easy it is for the disease to spread, making every cough a potential threat.

School’s Pledge: A Dedication to Safety

Responding to the situation, the school division asserts its unwavering dedication to the safety and health of students, families, faculty, and staff. Their commitment to work hand in hand with health district officials shines a ray of hope amidst the disquiet.

Looking Ahead: From Contact Tracing to Free Testing

According to Dr. Franck, the active TB case was reported to him on July 10. Since then, a timeline involving contact tracing was initiated to identify potentially impacted individuals within the Hanover community. With the tracing period now concluded, exposed families and staff will receive notifications within the next 24 to 48 hours, followed by arrangements for free testing.

The New Academic Year: Stepping Forward with Caution

Despite the recent TB alert, the upcoming school year for Hanover County is set to commence on August 21. The primary aim is to catch latent TB cases in this window and provide treatment to prevent a transition into full-blown TB.

TB Information Session: An Initiative for Awareness

As a part of the response, Hanover schools and the Chickahominy Health District have planned a TB information session. This move reflects their commitment to not just handle the situation but also educate the school community about this public health concern.

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