During a meeting at Lee High School, Fairfax County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu told the community that "there is no reason to restrict activities or attendance at Lee High School because of the expansion. All activities at the school can continue as usual and Lee High School students who are undergoing testing can continue to participate in all activities."
Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Health Department
On Monday, Fairfax County Health Department officials announced they are expanding the tuberculosis (TB) investigation at Robert E. Lee High School, in the wake of reports that as many as 430 students and faculty could have been exposed to the disease.
TB Testing Schedule at Lee High School
Skin Test: Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 a.m.-noon. Return for Results: Monday, Aug. 5, noon-4 p.m.
Skin Test: Saturday, Aug. 3, noon-6 p.m. Return for Results: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m.-noon.
Skin Test: Monday, Aug. 5, 8 a.m.-noon. Return for Results: Wednesday, Aug. 7, noon-4 p.m.
Skin Test: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m.-noon. Return for Results: Thursday, Aug. 8, noon-4 p.m.
Skin Test: Saturday, Aug. 10, 8 a.m.-noon. Return for Results: Monday, Aug. 12, noon-4 p.m.
For more information about TB, go to:
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Fairfax County NewsWire
Fairfax County Emergency Blog
In June, the health department reported three people within the Lee High School community had been identified as having active TB. One person was diagnosed in December 2012, and two were diagnosed in June. One of the June cases was linked to the December diagnosis.
The health department now recommends screening and testing for TB infection for all Lee High School 2012-2013 students, faculty and support staff. In addition, approximately 20 others have been identified as meeting the health department’s exposure criteria, which is based on having spent a significant amount of time in the school on multiple occasions and in places where TB transmission may have occurred during the 2012-2013 school year.
While there is no ongoing transmission of TB at Lee High School, and the vast majority of the Lee High School community was not at high risk of exposure to TB, the health department—out of an abundance of caution—concluded that the “expansion is prudent based on multiple factors that included a higher-than-expected skin test positivity rate among those who have been tested so far,” said health department officials on Monday.
“This expanded level of testing will ensure that everyone who may have been exposed to TB is identified,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director of the Fairfax County Health Department.
The health department recommends that only individuals who received a letter plan to attend one of the special clinics that will be held at Lee High School on the dates listed. Because the TB test is a two-step process, it is important that when selecting a date for the skin test, the individual is also able to return on the corresponding date for a health care worker to determine whether the test is positive or negative. Returning any other time will require that the skin test be repeated.
“There is no reason to restrict activities or attendance at Lee High School because of the expansion,” Addo-Ayensu said. “All activities at the school can continue as usual and Lee High School students who are undergoing testing can continue to participate in all activities."
Lee High School parents who have questions should call the health department's call center at 703-267-3511.