Highly Contagious Virus Could be Making its Rounds at SCAD - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/04/06

Highly Contagious Virus Could be Making its Rounds at SCAD

Ex Libris Bookstore Employee gets Tested for Tuberculosis Ex Libris Bookstore Employee gets Tested for Tuberculosis

A contagious illness has put Savannah College of Arts and Design on high alert. This week the school issued a warning to students and faculty that a book store employee may have Tuberculosis.

Test results from the Ex Libris Book Store employee are not back yet, but SCAD is still trying to calm any fears, saying Chatham County Public Health has the situation under control.

Dean of Communications, Bruce Chong, says the health department doesn't think any wide spread testing is necessary and that there's probably no risk to students, faculty or the public who visit the bookstore.

Dr. Diane Weems with Chatham County's Public Health, says it takes being in close contact with the infected person for long periods of time to become infected. Getting T-B is easier than you may think. Dr. Weems says, "in most cases it is a family member, a close personal contact, or a co-worker."

Some of the symptoms of Tuberculosis include: a persistent cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Chatham County has had more than 50 cases of the virus over the last three years.

While Chatham County can't comment, Dean Chong says the health department has focused their attention on a small group of people who may need further attention.

In the mean time, Dean Chong says the college is taking their guidance from the health department and hope others will too.

Reported By: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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