Dordt College News

Suspected case of tuberculosis being investigated

December 5, 2006

The Iowa Department of Public Health through Community Health Partners notified Dordt College Campus Health Services that a suspected case of tuberculosis has been identified in a Dordt student. The student has been temporarily relocated off campus. The student is receiving treatment and will return to campus when the initial course of treatment is completed.

The Iowa Department of Public Health, working through Sioux County Public Health and Dordt College Campus Health Services, is conducting an investigation of the case. Beginning Dec. 5, they will identify and test individuals who have had close contact with the student. They will expand the testing as needed.

Iowa Tuberculosis Control Consultant Allen Lynch assured campus officials that further precautions are not necessary at this time. Only persons who have active tuberculosis are infectious. Should this case be confirmed as active tuberculosis, individuals who have had close contact with this student are unlikely to have developed active tuberculosis within this time period.

Tuberculosis is a disease that is spread from person to person through the air via droplets. The TB bacteria do not remain in the air long, nor do they live on exposed surfaces of any kind. Usually, prolonged close contact with someone with infectious TB must occur before someone becomes infected.

The disease can lie dormant for many years (latent TB infection) with no symptoms. The general symptoms of an active case of TB include weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats, with additional pulmonary TB symptoms include coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood.

Dordt College Campus Health Services has set up a fact page at for those seeking additional information about tuberculosis.

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