Indio High School, Desert Sands Staff to be Honored for Assisting County in Response to TB

News Release


Mar 24

Indio High School, Desert Sands Staff to be Honored for Assisting County in Response to TB

MORENO VALLEY – As part of World TB Day, the Riverside County Department of Public Health and Supervisor John J. Benoit today will honor staff at Indio High School and Desert Sands Unified School District for their efforts to test the entire student body for tuberculosis.

A presentation will be held at 1:30 p.m. on March 24 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center in Moreno Valley, 14075 Frederick St.

“Principal Rudy Ramirez, Indio High School staff and the Desert Sands Unified School District were of tremendous aid to the county in stemming the exposure to tuberculosis,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “Their efforts, out of concern for the safety and health of their students, ensured that testing went smoothly, helping us to respond in an orderly, immediate and thorough way to the situation.”

Last December, a student at Indio High School was diagnosed with active tuberculosis. County health officials expanded TB tests to the entire student body to screen individuals for exposure so that treatment could be offered. With the help of the school officials, 1,319 students and 75 staff were tested at a clinic at the high school before the holidays.

In February, about 120 Indio High School students and some staff were tested for a second time as part of a routine follow-up to the original screening.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that usually attack the lungs, but it can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. It is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

Employees from Vista Murrieta High School and Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta will also be honored for their efforts in testing for tuberculosis.

For more information about today’s event, please contact Jose Arballo Jr., senior public information specialist with the Riverside County Department of Public Health, at 951-358-5599.

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