VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Officials with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health said a small number of people at Salem Elementary School may have been exposed to someone with active tuberculosis (TB).

The school principal sent letters to families advising them of the situation on Wednesday. The letter explained that the school was working with the health department to make sure any student, staff member, or faculty member who may have been exposed to the person with TB is evaluated and receives treatment and follow-up if need be. The principal and the district health director co-signed the letter which stressed that risk of exposure no longer existed.

TB mainly affects the lungs. The germ that causes it is passed from person to person when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, or sings. It' not easy to catch tuberculosis. Typically, exposure to a contagious person has to take place for a long period of time in order for someone to contract it.

Anyone whom school and health department staff members identify as having close contact with the person who had TB will be screened for exposure and infection by answering questions about his/her health and activity, the receive a test for TB infection. Those people who are identified as needing screening and testing will receive a letter in the mail.

Information about tuberculosis can be found on the Virginia Department of Health's website or through the Centers for Disease Control's website.

Salem Elementary TB Letter by 13News Now on Scribd

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