HYRUM, Utah (ABC4) – A student at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum has been identified with active tuberculosis, school officials announced on Monday.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease that most commonly affects the lungs, but can also affect the brain, kidney, or spine and could cause death if left untreated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC said symptoms include coughing, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever, night sweats, and loss of appetite.

Medical Director for the Bear River Health Department Dr. Parfulla Garg said that TB is spread through close prolonged contact with a person with active TB. It can spread through the air from one person to the next through coughing and sneezing, but can’t be spread through physical touch like shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or drink, touching toilet seats, or kissing.

“Despite the fact that active TB only develops approximately 5-10% of the time in an exposed individual, testing of exposed individuals is highly recommended in order to prevent the spread of the disease,” said Dr. Garg. “TB is a serious disease, and proactive testing is necessary to help prevent further spread and avoid severe complications.”

Mountain Crest High School officials said only a small group of people are likely to have had close and prolonged contact with the student. The school’s faculty are working closely with Bear River Health Department to determine which students or staff were at risk of exposure.

The school said it started contacting individuals on Monday, March 13, and will continue to contact those believed to be at risk on Tuesday, March 14. The health department will also continue to work with those individuals based on exposure for follow-up testing if necessary.

Complimentary testing will be made available to anyone the health department has identified as being at risk.

Those who are not determined to be at risk but would like to be tested as a precaution should contact their healthcare provider, or visit the South Logan Office of the Bear River Health Department located at 635 South 100 East in Logan.

More information can be found at Bear River Health Department’s website or by calling the TB hotline at (435)-792-6567.