Health department, YISD hold meeting following potential tuberculosis exposure at Hanks HS

Hanks High School in east El Paso. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

School and health officials met with parents Tuesday night following the announcement of a potential tuberculosis exposure at Hanks High School.

The meeting between Public Health Department staff, Ysleta Independent School District staff and parents was a "tuberculosis 101" course, according to Superintendent Xavier De La Torre.

In the meeting, the health department showed videos about the disease, symptoms and how it is spread.

It was something that put the minds of Victor and Noemi Licerio at ease.

“The main thing was their concerns and I think the health department and the district pretty much address their concerns and questions,” Victor Licerio said. “So what we took out of the meeting is that we shouldn’t worry about it we think it’s fine everybody’s gonna be treated or tested.”

About 150 students may have been exposed to tuberculosis at the high school.

The superintendent said that, according to the city, the exposure was contained.

“It would require that another student have a contact and had been in constant contact with the individual who (was) diagnosed with active tuberculosis for that to happen. Notwithstanding, we recognize that Hanks High School is a relatively isolated area so we want to approach it and follow the health department recommendations,” De La Torre said.

“Everything they went over as far as the disease itself I think everyone felt confident that OK we know now about TB and how it spreads,” Noemi Licerio said.

More than 100 people attended the meeting. The district said the tuberculosis testing should be completed before the start of Christmas break.

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