14 at Nevada school test positive for inactive TB

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) - Fourteen people at a Las Vegas-area high school have tested positive for a latent, noncontagious form of tuberculosis, health officials said.

The discovery was made when the Southern Nevada Health District conducted tests after a person who either worked at or attended Coronado High School in Henderson came down with an active case of the disease in November.

The person has since been treated and returned to school, district officials said. They declined to offer details about the individual, citing privacy laws.

The latent form of the respiratory illness doesn't present symptoms and isn't contagious but can convert to an active form at a later time. Health district officials said they will offer treatment to avoid a flare-up.

A separate high-profile tuberculosis outbreak in Las Vegas claimed the lives of a young mother and at least one of her premature twins over the summer. Hundreds of people who had been to the neonatal intensive care unit at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, where the babies were staying, were tested for the disease.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported in December that 59 people showed indications of the disease, though all but two of the cases are latent. Officials don't know for sure that all 59 cases were directly linked to the Las Vegas hospital, the district's chief health officer, Dr. Joe Iser, has said.

Southern Nevada typically logs 85 to 100 cases of active tuberculosis each year, Iser said. There were 75 cases in 2013, but Iser said the cases were more complex than in years past because tuberculosis strains are becoming more drug-resistant.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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