Forrest Scene

October 2012 News Releases

Confirmed case of TB disease reported

Health officials have confirmed that a Washburn University student has been identified and diagnosed with infectious tuberculosis disease (TB). The student is responding to treatment and a full recovery is expected.

Washburn officials are working with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Agency to identify and evaluate individuals who may have had significant close contact with this student.

"Washburn officials are fully cooperating with public health efforts and following best practice guidelines to effectively address this investigation,” said Phil Griffin, TB controller at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

A contact investigation is underway and all students, staff and faculty at risk for exposure are being screened and evaluated through the Shawnee County Health Agency, said Shirley Dinkel, director of Washburn student health services. “The safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and faculty is our highest priority and we are taking every precaution to maintain a healthy campus.”

Facts on TB include:

  • TB is spread through the air by coughing, laughing, singing and sneezing.
  • The only way to contract the disease is by prolonged close contact of several hours a day over several days, in a small confined area and in very close proximity to a person who has the
  • Symptoms of TB include a cough that persists longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, chills, fever, coughing up blood, fatigue and/or blood in the urine.
  • TB can be treated and cured with appropriate medications.

For more information about TB please visit Any questions about TB testing related to this situation should be directed to the Shawnee County Health Agency at 785-291-2488.

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Dena Anson, university relations, 785- 670-1711