Case of tuberculosis is confirmed at a Twin Cities high school

The infected individual was in the school for more than two months while contagious.

Students and staff at St. Louis Park High School will undergo testing after a case of active tuberculosis was identified there.

The St. Louis Park School District confirmed Thursday that an individual at the school had been diagnosed at the end of November. By the time the district was informed, they were receiving medical care and posed "no further risk or exposure to the school."

However, the person – it isn't made clear if it's a student or an adult – was in the school between September and November while contagious.

Because of this, any students and staff who had close contact with the person will need to be tested for the disease. Parents whose child needs testing will receive letters from the school this week.

Even with testing, the Hennepin County Department of Health says it could take several months before they can determine if a new case of tuberculosis has presented itself.

Tuberculosis is a major killer, but not in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control says tuberculosis is a bacterial disease which usually attacks the lungs, but can attack any part of the body including the kidney, spine and brain.

Symptoms include a bad cough that lasts longer than three weeks, pain in the chest and coughing up blood or sputum, as well as fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats. If not treated, it can be fatal.

It's one of the world's deadliest diseases, with the CDC saying 10.4 million people contracted it worldwide and 1.8 million died from it in 2015.

But it's less common in the U.S., with just 9,557 cases reported in 2015 – a rate of around three cases per 100,000 people. There were 493 tuberculosis-related deaths in 2014, the last year for which data was available.

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