Nimitz Students and Faculty Line up for T-B Tests

Friday, November 19th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some Tulsa students rolled up their sleeves Friday to take a different type of test.
Nurses gave tuberculosis tests to everyone at Nimitz Middle school Friday morning.
Many students came to school not very stressed about facing an exam they just found out about on Wednesday. The library became the clinic for the tuberculosis testing. Inside, nurses armed with needles gave the skin test to more than 500 students and faculty. Even school volunteers lined up to be tested. “They called and told me I needed to come in because we were up here so much, just in case," said one volunteer.

Many students say the needle frightens them more than a positive finding. "People getting their shots,” said one student. “It's kind of scary." Most students say they aren't very worried about coming down with T-B, because their teachers have taught them a lot about the disease since news of the discovery was announced earlier this week. “I don't think I have anything to worry about,” said an older student. “The chances of us having it are pretty slim."

Eighth grader Michael Nelson and other students were told the employee with T-B is showing no signs of the disease. Therefore, it's probably not contagious. Many parents are impressed that all students and faculty are taking the exam. “It just makes it easier, and takes away the fear factor," said a parent.

The nurses will be back on Monday to see if the students passed their test by reading a reaction on their skin. School leaders and health officials say being safe should stomp out TB in the school and keep it from spreading further into the community. Nurses say if someone is diagnosed with T-B, they'll have to take a pill every day for six months.
The students will undergo another round of testing in three months.