A River Campus student has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, prompting University Health Services (UHS) to initiate containment measures.
In an email to the University community on Tuesday, Vice Provost and Director of UHS Ralph Manchester, M.D. said that the affected student has been placed in isolation in a single dorm room since Sept. 4 and has not been attending classes or going to the dining halls, thus minimizing the chance of transmission. According to Manchester, the student will stay in isolation until tests confirm that he or she is no longer contagious, which is likely to take about one month.
Tuberculosis is in decline in the United States, but about 20-25 new cases are diagnosed each year in Monroe County, Manchester said in the email. He added in an interview that the affected student contracted tuberculosis in another country, before arriving at UR last month. The disease is treatable and almost always cured.
UHS is currently working with the Monroe County Department of Public Health to identify other students who might have been infected. Manchester said that the incubation period for tuberculosis is about eight weeks. Any other cases will begin to show symptoms within that time, and will be isolated and treated if they appear. Depending on whether the most at-risk students test positive, UHS may need to continue testing other members of the student body.
“Due to the nature of tuberculosis,” Manchester said in an interview, “it is not possible to know with any certainty” how long before Sept. 4th the student might have been contagious. He noted, however, that if there are any other infected students, they will be identified and isolated before they are contagious.
Passanisi is a member of
the class of 2017.