A year ago, Laura Hall felt tired all the time, was losing weight and had a bad cough.
The 41-year-old Spanish teacher from Shelburne, Vt., went to doctors for three months before they finally nailed the diagnosis: active tuberculosis.
“I was scared. I was horrified. ‘Oh my gosh, how did I get this? Where did I get it?’ “ Hall said in a video about TB survivors’ experiences. “I didn’t think that I could get TB, ever.”
While Hall underwent treatment — isolation at home and a demanding regimen of antibiotics and other drugs — the Vermont Department of Health tested about 500 students and co-workers who might have been exposed to her. Nineteen children and two adults tested positive for latent TB. (People with latent TB aren’t sick or contagious, but they carry a greater lifetime risk of developing active TB.)