A published report states that the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is monitoring students and faculty at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica Hills for tuberculosis after one student contracted the bacteria for the lung disease.
WABC-Channel 7 is reporting that 170 students and six faculty members will receive free testing. Parents have been notified that unless they are told otherwise that their children are not considered at risk.
According to a March 20 posting on the DHMH web page, New York City is seeing an increase in tuberculosis cases, or TB, in 10 years. The 656 cases recorded in 2013 amounted to five more than in 2012.
The report states that 84 percent of the cases reported last year were diagnosed in people born outside of the United States. Increases in diabetes and the use of medications that weaken the human immune system also are seen by the city as possible causes for the uptick.
The city’s rate of eight cases per 100,000 is more than double the national average of three.