A University of Houston student is receiving treatment for active tuberculosis, as confirmed by school officials in a statement on Tuesday. The infected individual, currently undergoing medical care off-campus, is no longer considered a health risk to others.
According to the Houston Health Department (HHD), the infected student’s case was initially reported on November 6. HHD officials mentioned that this is an isolated incident at this stage, with early contact tracing efforts underway. Public Information Officer Fabian Gutierrez from HHD confirmed that the student has been in isolation away from campus since the diagnosis in early November.
The university is collaborating closely with the Houston Health Department to identify individuals, including students, faculty, and staff, who may need testing for TB infection, stated MD Interim Executive Director Jon Rusciano. Individuals identified for testing will receive separate notification detailing the date, time, and location for testing.
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease primarily transmitted through prolonged contact with an infected person. The CDC notes that it is caused by a bacterium, typically affecting the lungs but capable of attacking other organs such as the kidneys, spine, or brain. Symptoms include a persistent cough lasting three weeks or more, chest pain, and coughing up blood or phlegm.
Houston Health Department officials are set to be on campus next week in the University’s Student Center South Space City Room on Tuesday, November 28, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Wednesday, November 29, from 12 to 1 p.m. to provide information on tuberculosis. UH students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend if they have any concerns or questions about the airborne illness.