DHEC investigating after case of tuberculosis confirmed at CFHS

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating after officials confirmed a case of tuberculosis at Carolina Forest High School on Thursday.

"DHEC is working closely with school leaders to identify members of the school community who may have been exposed and need TB testing," DHEC's website states. "This process is called a 'TB contact investigation.'"

A TB contact investigation is a process completed based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. All information gathered during the investigation will be used to make specific testing recommendations to individuals.

"DHEC has communicated this information to parents and staff and will continue to keep the school community updated on next steps," the website states. "DHEC is evaluating the school layout and routine activities of the case to determine the level of risk for classrooms, lunchrooms and other areas where the students and staff congregate."

In a letter sent to parents obtained by WPDE, DHEC said free tuberculosis testing will be held at the school on March 26 during school hours.

Parents were provided a permission slip to complete in order for their child to receive the free testing from DHEC.

Any positive test results will "immediately" be reported to parents and guardians by phone and negative test results will be given to the child in a letter on April 11.

Officials say tuberculosis is a bacterial disease found primarily in the lungs which spreads from person to person by sharing the air space in a confined area for a prolonged period of time. It can be treated with antibiotics.

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles