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UCR Offers TB Testing


UC Riverside Offers Tuberculosis Testing to Campus After a Student Tests Positive for Active TB

The university is working closely with Riverside County public health officials.

(November 2, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- UC Riverside officials notified the campus community today that it is providing tuberculosis skin tests to students in response to a confirmed case of active tuberculosis found in one student.

The student was recently confirmed to have the active disease and is receiving medical treatment and has a good prognosis. The student has been removed from the general UCR population.

While health officials say there is generally low risk of transmission of the disease, the student’s closest associates on campus have been personally notified and are being asked to come in for screening and subsequent monitoring.

In addition, a notice has been sent to approximately 1,500 students, staff and professors who could have come into repeated contact with the diagnosed individual in lecture halls, dining halls, and other shared spaces. In the notification, the campus offered free testing for students through its Campus Health Center.

Campus Health Center Senior Physician Charles Maletz, M.D. said UCR is following standard protocols mandated by public health laws and general practice. Maletz said that no other students have recently presented at the health center with TB symptoms.

In recent years, cases of active TB have periodically presented at colleges and universities in the U.S. and elsewhere, most recently in Taiwan, New Brunswick [Canada], Colorado, the District of Columbia, and California.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“[Tuberculosis] 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. TB is NOT spread by

  • shaking someone’s hand
  • sharing food or drink
  • touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • sharing toothbrushes
  • kissing

TB 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. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick.”

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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