Approximately one week after Vermont health officials reported a confirmed case of tuberculosis in an employee at Charlotte Central School and Freedom Rains Children’s Center in Colchester, seven people at Charlotte Central School have tested positive for TB.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis /Janice Haney Carr
Mycobacterium tuberculosis /Janice Haney Carr

After 150 students and staff at Charlotte Central School were tested with TB skin tests on Monday (Jan. 26), six children and one adult have tested positive for TB infection, health officials note. In addition, one child who was tested by their health care provider had a positive result, and others may be reported.

The Vermont Department of Health stresses There are no active cases of TB at the school or the children’s center, and there is no ongoing risk. The person who has active TB is not at the school, and the Health Department has not identified any additional cases of TB illness.

A positive skin test result does NOT mean that a person is sick with TB disease (active TB), or that they can pass the bacteria on to anyone else. A positive skin test result means that the person has TB bacteria in his or her body (latent TB). It is perfectly safe for these children to be at the school, and for others to be around them, because they are not sick with TB and cannot spread the bacteria.

Because there were positive results found in the first round of testing at the school the Health Department, in consultation with pediatric TB experts, has decided to expand skin testing to all students in the school. The Health Department is working with the school to arrange for additional skin test clinics in the near future.

Children at both the school and the children’s center who tested negative in the first round of testing will be re-tested in eight to 10 weeks.