The Northern Kentucky Health Department confirmed that a Northern Kentucky University student has tuberculosis Dec. 19. The woman remains hospitalized as of Jan. 12.
However, according to Emily Gresham Wherle, a health department representative, the student is doing better. The woman’s name and age will not be released.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that attacks the lungs, and almost any part of the body and is spread through the air, according to the American Lung Association. It also states that about 10 million Americans are infected with TB germs and only about 10 percent of these people will develop TB disease in their lifetime. The other 90 percent will never get sick from the TB germs or be able to spread them to other people.
Wherle said the Health Department worked closely with NKU to determine who should be contacted. Those people were referred to the student health center at NKU or the health department to be tested, making it easier to detect.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s a risk for people who maybe had a class with this person,” Wherle said. “Most of the people at risk have already been contacted.”
“Everything is under control at this point,” said Michele Kay, NKU campus nurse.
According to Gresham Wherle, no other cases of tuberculosis as a result of this incident have been found.