By Barbara Ann Kelley,

TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A possible case of Tuberculosis (TB), has been identified in a University of South Florida student and has been reported to the Hillsborough County Health Department.

The student has  begun TB drug therapy and is recovering in isolation so they no longer pose a health risk to other students or the community.

The Hillsborough County Health Department’s Tuberculosis Center and the University have notified up to 150 students, faculty, staff, and community members who may have had contact with the TB student. They will begin testing these people next week to identity if any have contacted the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “tuberculosis or TB…is a disease is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

According to the CDC,” TB can not be spread by shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or kissing. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and active TB disease ”

For more information about TB, visit the CDC’s TB information website through this link.

Concerned students and employees of USF who may have additional questions can call the Student Health Services nurse line at (813) 974-1797. Nurses are available to answer questions until Friday, February 17. The nurse line is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12).

If students or employees of USF not identified/notified by the Health Department would like to be tested for TB, they can schedule an appointment at the USF Student Health Services by calling (813) 974-2331. There is no fee for the TB testing.

For non-student or employee TB testing or general questions please call the Hillsborough County Health Department at (813) 307-8047.

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