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Tests confirm likelihood of tuberculosis in WF

Tests conducted by the North Dakota Department of Health have confirmed that a student from the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center in West Fargo is likely to have Tuberculosis.

Craig Steffens, TB Coordinator with the North Dakota Department of Health's Division of Disease Control, said that lab results show the case is likely to be tuberculosis, but added that TB cultures are difficult to grow in the lab and could take 3-5 weeks to confirm, because TB is a slow growing organism.

According to FCPH Health Officer Dr. John Baird, "The case investigation will proceed as planned with this test result. We will continue the process of testing those people who were at highest risk of exposure."

Last week, letters with testing information were sent home with 75 students from the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center who might have been exposed to the student with TB.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. The symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Exposure to tuberculosis includes frequent or prolonged exposure, such as sitting in a small room or confined area for a long period of time, with someone with active Tuberculosis disease.

For more information on TB, go to, or call 701-241-1360.