Mass. high school student has tuberculosis

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — More than 100 students and staff at Lowell High School are being tested for tuberculosis after a student was diagnosed with the now rare disease.

City Health Director Frank Singleton says only students and staff who came in close contact with the student will be given the skin tests, which show whether a person has ever been exposed to bacteria that cause the lung disease.

Even if a test is positive, it does not indicate that a person has the disease. Students or staffers who test positive will be referred to Lowell General Hospital for monitoring or free treatment with antibiotics.

The student is at the hospital.

Public health officials say there are typically between 200 and 250 cases of tuberculosis in Massachusetts each year, mostly among older, foreign-born residents.

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