TB case reported on Carnegie Mellon University campus

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Carnegie Mellon University officials today alerted the university community that a visiting researcher at the H. John Heinz III College in being hospitalized with an active case of tuberculosis.

The school’s University Health Services was notified of the situation on Monday by the Allegheny County Health Department, with which it is working in concert. A small handful of individuals who had contact with the person with tuberculosis have been contacted and are following up with appropriate testing. The patient with tuberculosis is responding well to treatment.

“We are writing to you about this situation not because we have any reason to believe that you may be at risk, but to ensure that you are informed and able to take any action you deem necessary,” said Anita L. Barkin, University Health Services director, said in the alert.

She further noted that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tuberculosis is difficult to contract and is most likely to spread to people who have repeated contact every day. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. You cannot get TB from clothing, a drinking glass, eating utensils, handshakes, toilets or other surfaces.

Michael A. Fuoco: mfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1968.

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