A case of pulmonary (lung) tuberculosis, has been confirmed on campus according to Health Services. An announcement was sent on Monday detailing the outbreak.
“There are no precautionary measures at this time,” Joan Osthues, the director of Health Services said. Osthues confirmed that five individuals, not just students, had been tested for tuberculosis.
The Department of Health Services was notified by the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute at University Hospital of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the South Orange Department of Health.
The e-mail announcement sent Monday stated “that an individual within our campus community has been diagnosed with confirmed pulmonary (lung) tuberculosis… The bacteria are transmitted through the air when there is generally repeated, prolonged close exposure to an infectious individual.” The e-mail also said that the disease could easily be cured with medication.
Junior nursing students Kristin Podsiadlik and Lindsey Zavadil didn’t hear about the cases until Tuesday night.
“I’m pretty shocked it wasn’t announced clearly, I understand that hesitancy not to and the publicity it brings, but as an illness that is easily transmitted, I feel that we should have gotten some kind of notification while respecting the confidentiality of those affected,” Podsiadlik said.
Any individuals who were required to be tested have been notified by Osthues. Only individuals who were notified need to be tested at this time.
“We are confident that the university is handing it in the appropriate manner, like following CDC precautions and procedures,” Zavadil said.
According to the Center for Disease Control, tuberculosis is spread through the air. “The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.”
Both Zavadil and Podsiadlik said as upperclassmen nursing majors, they are expected to get yearly TB screenings, where as the rest of the Seton Hall community does not.
“I feel maybe the school should provide screenings or some type of education for those who may have been exposed or in a high risk group,” Podsiadlik said.
Stephanie Bower can be reached at email@example.com.