Dartmouth College announces case of tuberculosis

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/2/2022 2:55:57 AM
Modified: 11/2/2022 2:55:44 AM

HANOVER — A member of the Dartmouth community has an active case of tuberculosis, the Dartmouth College Health Service informed the college community in a Monday email.

The person is being treated and is in isolation, according to the message from Dr. Mark Reed, the health service’s director. The health service is working with Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, New Hampshire’s deputy state epidemiologist, to identify people who may have been exposed to active tuberculosis.

In the next few days, state health workers will reach out to those contacts so they can be screened. People who are exposed can become infected but cannot spread the bacteria immediately.

TB usually affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. There are two TB-related conditions: latent TB, when the bacteria live in the body without making a person sick, and active TB, when a person feels ill.

People with latent TB cannot spread it to others. People with active TB are able to spread it if they cough, speak or sing around others. TB is not spread by shaking someone’s hand or drinking from someone’s glass.

In both cases, the condition can be treated. If TB goes untreated, it can be fatal.

This is not the first time a member of the Dartmouth community has tested positive for active TB. A Dartmouth student was diagnosed with an active case in January 2020.

Reed asked that people who get a call from the state department of health answer the call. The state public health team handling TB can be reached at 603-271-4496.

More information about TB is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/faqs/default.htm.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at ndoyleburr@vnews.com or 603-727-3213.

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