TB TESTS conducted at Oklahoma City school

Friday, May 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A tuberculosis diagnosis in one student prompted officials to have 23 first-graders tested for the disease.

The students at Shields Heights Elementary were to be tested Friday for tuberculosis, which is caused by bacteria that affect the lungs.

``We don't expect to find any other cases,'' said Dr. Dale Claflin, medical director for the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Claflin said the girl isn't very sick, and she has no bacteria in her saliva, although X-rays and other tests indicate she has the disease.

The case was discovered during a county investigation of a tuberculosis case in an adult, Claflin said. The department investigates each positive case to determine who might have been exposed to the person with the disease.

Claflin said children with tuberculosis are less contagious than adults because the disease is spread by coughing, sneezing and other actions that put the germ into the air for others to inhale. Small children don't cough as forcefully as adults.

``There's no way to know for sure if she is contagious,'' Claflin said. ``We're testing to make sure there hasn't been any exposure to others.