ADPH investigates TB case at Auburn University

August 14, 2014

On Aug. 7, Alabama Department of Public Health officials notified Auburn University of plans to investigate a case of pulmonary tuberculosis identified in an Auburn University student enrolled on the Auburn campus. ADPH and Auburn University are working closely to ensure that university students and employees will be screened quickly.

The state and local health departments are communicating regularly with Auburn University to keep its faculty, administration and students updated on this ongoing process.

Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer for Tuberculosis and Immunization, stated,  “We are working very closely with the university to develop and implement a screening plan. As with any identified case of tuberculosis in Alabama, ADPH will implement precautionary testing, investigation and control measures.”

On Aug. 13, ADPH and university officials began identifying students enrolled in classes as well as faculty and staff  who might have been in close contact with the student. According to the ADPH, “close contact” is defined generally as spending an extended amount of time with the subject in a physically close environment. Those who were in contact with the individual have been notified and testing will begin Tuesday, Aug. 19.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and preventable disease. Persons who were in close contact with the suspect case will be rapidly assessed and appropriate preventive measures taken, according to ADPH officials. The Health Department recommends that only those individuals who were in close contact with the student need to be tested.

For additional information, contact Pam Barrett, director of the ADPH Tuberculosis Control Division, at (334) 467-8208.