Dear friends and colleagues:

A student in a summer intensive English program at Northern Arizona University is being treated for a suspected case of active tuberculosis.

As a precaution, the university has arranged TB screening tests for the small group of individuals who have been in prolonged, frequent or close contact with the student. We are also working closely with Coconino County Public Health Services.

TB is not spread by sharing a meal, kissing, using another’s toothbrush, shaking hands, or touching toilet seats, door knobs or other surfaces. TB can be transmitted only when someone breathes in the respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is sick with TB.

Even those individuals who have extensive contact with a person with a confirmed case of active TB have only about a 1 in 5 chance of contracting the disease.

Despite the low risk of transmission, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the safety of those students, faculty and staff who have had a high level of contact with this individual.

About 10 students, also in the Program for Intensive English, are being tested today. A protocol has been established for the immediate care and treatment of anyone who tests positive or displays symptoms of active TB.

The student currently suspected of having TB, who lives off campus, is in isolation and being treated at an in-patient facility. The student’s name is not being released because of federal regulations regarding student privacy.

Those with questions about TB are encouraged to read this list of frequently asked questions prepared by NAU, or review this information sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, a phone number has been established for anyone with additional questions: (928) 523-0007.

Beth Applebee
Executive Director
NAU Campus Health Services

Marcy Krueger, M.D.
Physician
NAU Campus Health Services