AU graduate student living off-campus tests positive for tuberculosis

DC health department has notified people who came into contact with student

AU graduate student living off-campus tests positive for tuberculosis

An AU graduate student who lives off campus has tested positive for tuberculosis, or TB, the Student Health Center announced in an email Friday. The D.C. Department of Health notified the University of the test, said David Reitman, the Student Health Center’s medical director.

Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Most people infected by the bacterium do not get sick with TB, Reitman wrote. The TB bacteria is spread by person to person through the air in coughs and sneezes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last TB case at AU was publicly reported in 2009, The Eagle reported at the time.

“[The D.C. Department of Health] has also informed us that there is no reason for alarm and that they are operating with an abundance of caution,” Reitman wrote.

People with tuberculosis can spread the disease to people they have spent multiple hours with. In turn, the Department of Health notified students, faculty and staff today who may have come into contact with the person who tested positive. They are being assisted by the department in getting tested for exposure to the bacteria, Reitman wrote.

If students want to be tested for TB, they can make an appointment online with the Student Health Center, Reitman said.

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