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October 22, 2014

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More TB tests ordered at Coronado High after lab error

A second round of tuberculosis testing is underway at Coronado High School today after an out-of-state laboratory botched nearly 80 tests taken last week from students and staff.

Oxford Diagnostic Laboratories in Memphis, Tenn., had a “processing error” while testing blood samples from several West Coast cities, according to Southern Nevada Health District spokeswoman Stephanie Bethel.

Because of the lab error, tuberculosis tests are being administered again today for about 78 students and staff at the Henderson high school, Bethel said. Anyone tested for TB on Tuesday, Nov. 19, was affected by the lab error, she said.

So far, up to 325 Coronado students and staff have been tested for tuberculosis after a person was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis Nov. 12.

Health District officials have not disclosed the person’s identity — or whether he or she was a student or staff member — but said the individual is undergoing appropriate treatment.

The lab results from the first round of TB tests are expected to be released next week, Bethel said. State law requires that students and staff exposed to the person with TB be tested and cleared before they can return to campus.

The Coronado TB investigation comes on the heels of another investigation at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, where over the summer a Las Vegas mother and her twin premature babies died from TB traced to bacteria from a dairy product, likely cheese from Central or South America.

The hospital outbreak infected at least 26 other people.

Tuberculosis, with symptoms that may remain dormant, can be fatal if not properly treated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 569 deaths from TB nationwide in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available. The Health District sees between 80 and 100 cases a year in Southern Nevada.

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