The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has completed its contact investigation for tuberculosis (TB) that began in March after a student attending Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU) and Kapiolani Community College (KCC) was diagnosed with active TB disease.
As of today, no new related cases of active TB disease have been identified. Two students were found to have latent TB infection, which is the inactive (dormant) and noncontagious form of TB. Both students were offered treatment.
According to Dr. Richard Brostrom, Chief of the DOH Tuberculosis Control Branch, “Our investigation has shown that this patient was not highly infectious. We appreciate the cooperation of the students and faculty that were potentially exposed, as well as our successful collaboration with the two colleges.”
Both HPU and KCC worked very closely with the DOH to provide notification and follow-up to those who may have been exposed. Emails were sent immediately to a total of 210 students and faculty who shared the same classroom with the ill student to inform them of the exposure and the need to be tested for TB. Of those, 108 reported for evaluation.
The DOH conducted a total of eight days of testing on-campus at both institutions at no cost to those exposed. Reminder phone calls were made prior to the testing events. Persons who did not take advantage of the testing on-campus received another phone call and a letter (by postal mail or delivered in class) with instructions to report to the DOH for TB testing.
Those notified who have not completed their evaluation, but still want to be screened, should call 832-3539 to make arrangements for TB testing at no cost at the DOH TB Control Branch located at the Lanakila Health Center.
The DOH TB Control Program works to reduce the incidence of TB in the state by providing effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services. Program activities include diagnosis and treatment; identification and investigation of cases; providing treatment of latent TB infection in high risk patients including contacts of active TB cases, those who are HIV positive, and those with evidence of untreated TB; conducting direct services including chest xray, sputum smear and culture, tuberculin skin testing, anti-tuberculosis therapy, and directly observed therapy through various clinics locations. For more information on TB go to http://hawaii.gov/health/family-child-health/contagious-disease/tb/faq.html