CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Students and staff at South Meck High school will undergo Tuberculosis (TB) testing next week after a student tested positive for the bacteria.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) officials confirmed to NBC Charlotte that a student tested positive for TB at South Meck, but stopped short of saying when the discovery was made or the grade of the student.
Mecklenburg Health Department officials said that approximately 30 people from South Meck will be tested next week. That number includes students and staff members who were in class with the infected student.
According to the Mecklenburg Health Department, the TB bacteria are only transferable if you’re in contact with an infected person four to four and half hours each day.
A concerned parent contacted NBC Charlotte after receiving a voice message from CMS about the exposure. They were left with more questions than answers.
“The message cut itself off half way through it,” the parent wrote in an email.
“It did say that information would be sent home with students. Not only was there no information sent home with the students, but there is also nothing on the news, CMS website, or school website about what needs to be done,” wrote the frustrated parent.
Health officials stressed the TB testing was a precaution.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.
The CDC says those nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
It was not clear the extent of the infected student’s diagnosis.
CMS would not indicate if they only notified the parents and guardians of students in the classroom, or if they attempted to contact all of South Meck.
NBC Charlotte spoke with one parent who was concerned that they never received notice from CMS about the exposure.
“I would’ve thought the school would’ve sent out something stating that this is a possibility that this is going around,” said Charnell Wilson.
Students who attend the high school said they found out through fellow classmates.
“A friend came up to me and said ‘did your parents get the call about the girl with TB’” said freshman Moryah Johnson.
Like his mother, he has more questions for school officials leading into next week.
“I’m going to ask my teachers and friends to see if they know about it. I might even ask my principal,” said Johnson.
Messages left with CMS were not immediately returned on Saturday.
“Needless to say, there will be a phone call,” said Wilson.