Some midstate parents said they got an alarming call from their school system Wednesday morning. Cheatham County Schools reported a case of tuberculosis at Sycamore High, and on-site health tests for other students in close contact are on the way.
His son Jeremy a senior at Sycamore High, David Eidson said this is deeply disturbing information he wishes he had earlier.
"I listened to it and wanted to know why they contacted us now when they knew of a case of TB earlier in the year," said Eidson. "Why didn't they take precautions earlier?"
Cheatham County School officials said they weren't aware of a possible issue until March 11 while the Department of Health confirmed a case of tuberculosis at the school by March 27.
In a statement, officials added, "We are fully cooperating with the Department of Health while this investigation is underway. The health and safety of our students remain our number one priority."
"Tuberculosis is an airborne spread disease," said Lori MacDonald of the Tennessee Department of Health. "It's highly treatable, highly manageable, and it's not as communicable as viruses."
Once the leading cause of death in the US, the Centers for Disease Control said 10,000 cases of tuberculosis were reported in 2012. That's the lowest number of cases in recorded history, and the numbers of cases have dropped every year since 1992. The TN Department of Health added, there were 143 cases of tuberculosis reported in Tennessee last year.
Taking the alert from the school very seriously, Eidson said he's going to do whatever he can to protect what matters to him most.
"I'm going to take my son to our private practitioner and get him tested," said Eidson. "I'm not going to go through the system."
Cheatham County School System officials said they'll be notifying parents if their child should take part in the on-site clinic tests.
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