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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: August 16, 2010


As a precautionary measure, Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) will provide skin tests to 80 Appoquinimink High School students to rule out a slight possibility that a student who briefly attended the school in May transmitted tuberculosis (TB).

Families of students offered skin testing were notified by letter Aug. 12. The affected student was at school for a very short period of time at the end of the last school year and had limited contact with other students. This student has been treated and is not contagious. The Appoquinimink School District has been extremely helpful in contacting the families and providing communication to their school community.

"We believe the health risk to students at Appoquinimink is low," said Dr. Herman Ellis, DPH medical director. "In this case, transmission is highly unlikely and the strain is easily treatable. As a precaution, we would prefer that students are tested."

"We want to be sure that no students were affected," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "The health of our children is paramount and skin test results will help reassure us that transmission has not occurred."

TB is spread through germs in the air. Many people have positive skin test results but with appropriate care remain healthy. A positive skin test alone is not a sole determinant of the disease.

DPH and the school district will offer an informational session for parents and the community at Appoquinimink High School on Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. Students may receive a free PPD skin test in the auditorium following the meeting. Parents and students are asked to return to the school Aug. 19 from 5 - 6 p.m. to have the skin test checked by DPH staff.

Anyone unable to attend these dates can contact their primary health care provider or receive a free skin test on Aug. 23 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Hudson State Service Center at 501 Ogletown Rd. in Newark. Individuals tested on that day can have their result checked on Aug. 26 beginning at 9 a.m.

Info about TB skin tests

For more information, go to If you have questions about your risk for TB, please contact the Division of Public Health at 302-283-7567.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.