Students Return to Gautier High After Tuberculosis Scare

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Students returned back to Gautier High School Wednesday after a student tested positive for tuberculosis, a concern for many local parents and residents.

Mattie McQueen, grandparent of a Gautier High student, says, "I feel like the spread of this disease should have been controlled and the school cleaned very well before any of the kids went back to school."

Jerry Bolton, Gautier resident and father, says, "I’m very concerned about it and I think all parents should be concerned about the tuberculosis because it’s a very serious situation."

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Lacey Meeks, Gautier resident and mother, says, "If my little kids get it then what am I supposed to do? I’ve got a three year old and my three year old can’t afford to get tuberculosis."

School officials want to ensure the public that they are doing everything in their power to control the situation. Two hundred students will be tested for the disease next week. Wayne Rodolfich, Pascagoula School District Superintendent, says, "That student is being treated and there’s not a health concern on that campus at the present time. It’s important in order to eradicate this type of issue that if you’re contacted for a test that you need to take the test and that way there’s a treatment for it.”

Rodolfich says that every parent in the district affected by this has been contacted and there have been several meetings with faculty and parents to discuss the issue. McQueen also says, "They want to say, ‘Well hey kids, come back, we’ll have a meeting.’ That’s not settling the situation here. I think everybody should be checked there that participated at that school."

School officials are urging everyone to remain positive, as the chance of infection is minimal and the disease is treatable.

Rodolfich closes, "There are no positives when you have a child that is ill or has the potential of being ill, but this is a very treatable situation but you have to take the treatment in order to cure the problem that you’re having."