GREAT BEND —The Barton County Health Department has been conducting an investigation of an active tuberculosis case since early last week, according to Health Director Shelly Schneider.
"With this active tuberculosis case, we ended up having approximately 42 blood samples that we had to deliver Friday to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment lab in Topeka," Schneider said.
"Many people have latent TB that live in our communities," she explained. "It's only a concern when it becomes active which is why we began the investigation."
While Schneider is hoping for those test results to come back negative, she says they are ready to move forward with the assistance of KDHE to prevent the spreading of the disease.
Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs, but can also attack any part of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Left untreated, TB can be fatal.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
Schneider says there is a concern that TB may not be identified due to the fact that people may think they are are suffering from a cold or flu.