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Tuberculosis alert as pupil struck down at Brockhill Park college in Satlwood

Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, Hythe

The alert has been raised among pupils at Brockhill Park

by Sam Lennon

School pupils are to be screened for tuberculosis after one was diagnosed with the illness.

The sixth former at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College in Saltwood, near Hythe, was struck down in the summer.

Now health officials are testing any youngsters who might have been in contact with him.

Doctor stock picHead teacher Sonette Schwartz said: "The student has since left - they had been in their last year at the school.

"But this is now being followed up by the NHS. It is to screen those who had been in contact with that student."

Mrs Schwarz said in a letter to parents, published on the school website that they would shortly receive a letter sanctioned by the Health Protection Unit to screen a "very small number of students and staff".

She explained health regulations require all parents to be contacted even if their children are not being screened.

The lung disease is spread through coughing, though there needs to be close and continued contact with an infected person - for example a fellow householder - to catch it.

The HPU says screening is always left for at least six to eight weeks from the time of potential exposure to infection.

The disease develops very slowly and screening too early can produce false
negative results.

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