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Whittier High students tested for tuberculosis

Students at Whittier High School are being tested for tuberculosis after someone associated with the campus tested positive for the respiratory illness.

The school sent a letter to parents on Feb. 13, alerting them that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health had notified them of the positive TB result. As a precaution, the school offered free testing to students who may have come in contact with the infected person.

And other children were tested by their doctor for the illness, spread through sneezing and coughing, and which can be highly contagious in close quarters like a classroom.

Concerns about TB at Whittier High follow an outbreak among L.A.'s homeless on skid row, where public health officials say thousands of people may have been exposed to a unique strain that has led to 11 deaths since 2007.

There was no update from the heath department about whether the case in Whittier was at all related to the strain on skid row.

Health officials have not yet said whether any students tested positive for tuberculosis, which is treatable and curable if detected early.


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