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News / Health / Clark County Health

Tuberculosis case tied to Minnehaha Elementary School

Person last at Vancouver school prior to summer break

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: August 18, 2023, 2:20pm

A person associated with Minnehaha Elementary School has been diagnosed with a case of infectious tuberculosis, Clark County Public Health reported Friday.

While no other details about the person in question are available due to privacy concerns, but Public Health said “the person who has (tuberculosis) spent time in Minnehaha Elementary School prior to the beginning of summer break.”

Public Health is working with Vancouver Public Schools and staff at Minnehaha to investigate and identify potential close contacts and said they will notify those individuals directly, if necessary, within the next week. Parents and staff were notified of the case via email Friday.

A representative from Vancouver Public Schools said Friday they do not anticipate the discovery will have any impact on the first day of school, Aug. 30.

“We are aware that someone connected to Minnehaha Elementary was recently diagnosed with active (tuberculosis) disease. We have worked with Clark County Public Health to pass along their general notification to all of our staff and parents who had students in the school during the 22-23 school year. We will also assist Clark County Public Health if they need our help in distributing notifications to those who are identified as potential close contacts,” the district said in a statement Friday.

Public Health is only recommending testing for those who are notified as close contacts. There are currently no other identified cases at Minnehaha; an official statement Friday said while a school outbreak is possible, it’s not common.

“A person who has infectious TB can spread the bacteria that causes TB to others who share the same air frequently or for prolonged periods. When a person who is infected does not have symptoms or evidence of TB disease, this is called latent TB infection. About 10 percent of people with latent TB infection will develop TB disease in the future,” Public Health said Friday.

For additional information about tuberculosis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here: https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/.