Robert E. Lee Holds Tuberculosis Meeting, Few Attend
An active case of tuberculosis at Robert E. Lee high school has the Alabama Department of Public Health asking both students and teachers to be tested.
A meeting was held for parents tonight, to address concerns...but the turnout was light.
Tuberculosis is an infectious bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. It can be spread when someone with the disease talks or coughs on another person over a long period of time. At Robert E. Lee High School, over 130 people could be at risk, so the school held a meeting to address concerns but only about 15 people showed up.
"I was shocked," says Jamelle McGhee, whose grandson attends the school. "I was shocked, me being a grandparent and concerned. I thought more people would be more concerned about their kids."
Mcghee says she skipped Bible Class to attend the meeting and thought more parents would have showed up. And she's not the only one. Others say they were surprised at the empty auditorium as well.
"Unfortunately, people don't come out until it hits home," says mother Sonja Wesley.
Of the 134 people who were sent letters Dr. Mary Mcintyre with the Alabama Department of Public Health says only about half of them have gone in to get tested.
"What we're looking at is we're trying to test people to determine whether or not they've been exposed and they're infected," she explains.
Although not many people showed up for the meeting, Mcintyre says the health department will continue to try to contact all those who need testing.
"The next step is going door-to-door and trying to find them," she says. "We would like not to have to do that so if they can come to us, we would love it."
Tuberculosis is a bacteria that can be treated.
If you have any questions about TB, you're advised to call the Alabama Department of Public Health at 334-206-5300