Possible tuberculosis cases at UNC Charlotte under investigation

Possible tuberculosis cases at UNC Charlotte under investigation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Health officials are investigating two possible cases of tuberculosis (TB) at UNC Charlotte. Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) is working with the North Carolina Division of Public Health in the investigation.

UNC Charlotte officials say the two affected students, both of whom reside off campus, are receiving medical treatment at their residences and are following standard isolation protocols. Mecklenburg County Health Department officials do not believe these cases are related. Officials say the risk to the general public, including students, faculty and staff at UNC Charlotte, is low.

In partnership with UNC Charlotte Student Health Center, MCPH officials say they are working to identify and screen students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed to TB.

Officials say those who may be at risk of potential exposure have been notified and asked to contact the Student Health Center or MCPH for follow-up. Health officials stressed that TB is a treatable infection.

“We are working with the NC Division of Public Health and partnering with UNC Charlotte to ensure appropriate management of this situation, to identify anyone who may have been exposed and to prevent further potential exposures in the community,” said Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director. “Tuberculosis is a treatable infection. We will ensure that all positive screenings are treated as needed to avoid future exposures.”

TB is most commonly transmitted to people who have prolonged close contact with someone with active TB. Although it is spread through the air, casual contact does not typically place anyone at risk. People with TB disease can be treated if they seek medical help. The disease is curable with appropriate treatment.

Mecklenburg County Health Department and University officials will hold three public information sessions to explain more about TB and answer any additional questions.

The sessions will be held on:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m., Student Union Theater
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m., McKnight Hall, Cone Student Center
  • Friday, Feb. 21, 9 a.m., Lucas Room, Cone Student Center

If you cannot attend in person, officials say the Thursday event will be streamed online.

In addition to daily procedures and out of an abundance of caution, the University is increasing the sanitization of high-traffic areas and any classrooms used by exposed individuals.

For more information about tuberculosis, click here.

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