Northwest Georgia Public Health - Polk County

The Polk School District posted a letter on school websites and their Facebook page announcing that a pair of individuals at Cedartown-area schools have been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Details about those individuals are slim due to the privacy rights for patients, but Superintendent Laurie Atkins was able to say those individuals were connected to Cedartown Middle School and Cherokee Elementary School.

She couldn't comment any further on additional specifics about those who were diagnosed following the Friday announcement online.

In the letter posted to school websites across the district, Atkins stated the Georgia Department of Health's Northwest region offices in Rome notified the district of the individuals who were diagnosed in order to ensure those who might have been exposed can seek testing and potential treatment.

Those lists of "targeted students groups" were notified of the potential exposure, the letter stated.

Northwest Georgia District spokesman Logan Boss confirmed the two individual cases with connections to the district, but also couldn't say more.

To remain transparent, the district letter also included information from the Northwest Georgia district's director, Dr. Unini Odama to address concerns of students, parents and citizens.

"We are working with Polk School District officials to identify and test individuals at risk of exposure to TB based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Odama's statement read. "We are confident actions by school officials are guarding the health of their students and the public. The confirmed TB cases are being treated at home and do not present a danger to others."

Tests are available for those who might be concerned about the risk of exposure to tuberculosis at the Polk County Health Department. Call the health department at 770-749-2270 to learn more about getting a test.

Commonly known as TB, tuberculosis is a infectious bacterial disease that is best known for affecting the lungs of a patient, but can impact other parts of the body It is characterized by nodules the bacteria grow once infecting tissues which resemble tubers.

Tuberculosis is mainly spread through contact with the tiny droplets of moisture released through coughs and sneezes from one infected individual to the next.

Boss said the disease is more common than a person might think, with cases popping up in Georgia.

"It isn't an easy disease to contract," he said.