Tuberculosis (TB) Alert

Alert: If you were in CSC 210 or MATH 325 this semester, check your school email. If you have questions or concerns, email myHealth@sfsu.edu.

 
Student Health Services was notified by the Department of Public Health (DPH) that a student who attended two classes from February through mid-March 2017 was diagnosed with active Tuberculosis (TB). This has resulted in about 100 students and several faculty who may have been exposed to the TB bacteria. Those students and faculty have been notified via email of this exposure and will be able to get tested for free at the SF DPH or the Student Health Services (SHS).
 
All campus activities and all classes continue to be held as scheduled with no safety concerns related to this past possible exposure. Any students who may have been exposed are not contagious, but could benefit from preventive medication.
 

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

An infectious disease of the lungs that can make you cough. It is caused by a bacteria that can be spread by someone who is sick with active tuberculosis. A person who has active tuberculosis is sick with a cough that lasts more than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, fevers, and night sweats.
 

How is TB spread?

TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. People with active TB disease are more likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day (family members or co-workers). People nearby may breathe in these bacteria/germs. Not everyone who comes into contact with a person with active TB gets infected.

TB is NOT spread by:

  • Surfaces such as desks/door handles
  • Shaking someone’s hand
  • Kissing
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Sharing food or drink
  • Touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • Sharing toothbrushes
 

How do I know if I have TB?

Symptoms

  • Prolonged cough (lasting more than 3 weeks)
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fevers
  • Night sweats
 

Medical screening for TB

Only your health care provider can tell if you have been infected with the TB bacteria by giving you a screening test.
 
You will be given either a skin test (poke) or a blood test. A blood test is more accurate and convenient. That is why SHS is recommending and offering the TB blood test.

The difference between a TB infection and active TB 

TB Infection

If you are among the people infected with TB, you have dormant (sleeping) TB germs in your body. You are not sick, and you have NO symptoms. You CANNOT give the germs to anyone else.

 

Active TB 

If you are among the few people with Active TB, you have many active TB germs in your body. You are sick, and you may have symptoms like a cough, fever, and weight loss. You need to see a doctor! You can give TB germs to others.
 

Resources