Killeen mother shares experience after daughter tests positive for tuberculosis

Posted at 10:51 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 09:05:07-04

The mother of a Killeen ISD student who recently tested positive for tuberculosis is sharing her experience. 

Her 13-year-old daughter attends Patterson Middle School, one of four middle schools in Killeen that may have experienced a possible tuberculosis exposure.

The girl tested positive for the latent tuberculosis infection, not the disease. While the TB bacteria is still in her system, she doesn't have any symptoms and can't infect others.

She was notified on Friday, April 29, when she and another group of students were called into the school's cafeteria to receive a letter, which stated she may have been exposed to tuberculosis and to get checked.

That following Monday, her mother, who didn't want her name to be used in order to protect her daughter's identity, took her to get a blood test done.

Three days later, she got a call from the pediatrician.

"She said that the blood-draw tests had come back positive for tuberculosis," the mother said.

But it wasn't until last Friday after having a chest X-ray done that she found out her daughter had the infection and not the disease.

"It's not active in her lungs. She has latent tuberculosis, so she does not have active TB disease. When you have latent TB, you're not contagious. She has no symptoms," she said.

The mother said that although the infection isn't active now, it can become active in the future. The doctor told her it could happen in a few years or in a few weeks.

"There's really not a time frame," she said.

In the meantime, her daughter will have to take antibiotics for the next six to nine months to destroy the TB bacteria in her system.

On Friday, the same day she had the X-ray done, her doctor cleared her to return to school on Monday.

It's still unclear, though, if this is the same student who the Bell County Public Health District said tested positive for tuberculosis last week. It's also unclear if she got the infection at school or somewhere else.

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