Online Originals: Tuberculosis diagnosis in Duplin Co., protecting children from disease

Online Originals

WALLACE, N.C. (WNCT) – Friday a student from Wallace Elementary School in Duplin County was diagnosed with Tuberculosis.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Tuberculosis, otherwise known as TB, is caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. It also commonly affects the kidney, spine, and brain.

“TB takes a very long time to develop it is not like the flu which you can get in a day.” -Beth Ricci, Director of Nursing Duplin County  

Ricci says that once exposed to the disease it could take months to develop into symptoms. She also said if one is experiencing symptoms, that they are completely treatable.

“Symptoms include a cough that has lasted over three weeks, coughing up blood, you have a fever, you have a lot of sweating at night, you’re losing weight, and difficulty breathing.” Beth Ricci, Director of Nursing Duplin County

Tuberculosis is fairly uncommon. Ricci said Duplin County Health Department treats approximately only one case a year and the individual being investigated was not known to be showing active symptoms while in school. However, following state procedures the health department will test those possibly exposed.

For preventing TB and other spreadable diseases, Ricci says to keep up with vaccines and strengthen immune systems.

“I would say make sure your children are up to date on their required immunizations, now there’s no immunization for TB but having a healthy immune system protects you if you are exposed. So making sure you’re a child is up to date, has a good diet, sleeps well, all those things that help us and our immune system stay healthy.” Beth Ricci, Director of Nursing, Duplin County

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