DPH and JCPH Partnering on TB Investigation in Westminster

September 02, 2019

X-ray image of lungs

Date: September 4, 2019

Contact: Rachel Brand, 303-602-3718

Denver Public Health and Jefferson County Public Health are partnering on a tuberculosis investigation at Victory Montessori in Westminster, CO. 

The Denver Metro TB Program at Denver Public Health has opened an investigation into a potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure at Victory Montessori, a school located on the campus of Victory Church in Westminster, CO.  Denver Public Health is working with Jefferson County Public Health to test anyone potentially exposed.  There is no ongoing risk for TB exposure at Victory Montessori or Victory Church. 

This type of investigation begins after a person is diagnosed with TB of the lungs.  The investigation includes determining where the person spent time several months before they were diagnosed.  In this case, the person spent time in spring 2019 at Victory Montessori.  Public health clinicians believe the risk that anyone got infected with TB at the school is extremely low.  However, the only way we can know with certainty is to test the people who may have been exposed. Denver Public Health clinicians also believe that there was no exposure to members of the congregation of Victory Church.

As soon as the diagnosis was confirmed, Denver Public Health and Victory Montessori began collaborating to determine who could have been exposed. Teachers and families of children who may have been exposed have been called directly by Denver Public Health to notify them and answer any questions.  Denver Public Health is also partnering with Jefferson County Public Health to provide testing at the school for those who need it and to provide general TB education for the larger community of families and staff at Victory Montessori.

What is TB?

TB is a disease caused by germs that are spread between people through the air. Getting TB typically requires many hours of close contact with a person who is sick from TB. The disease cannot be spread by touching door knobs, tables, utensils or other surfaces. Additional facts:

  • Most people who are exposed to TB do not get infected.
  • People who are infected with TB might not get sick at all or do not get sick until months or even years later.
  • People who are infected cannot give TB to others unless they are sick with symptoms such as cough, fever or night sweats.
  • A person who is infected with TB but is not sick can be treated to eliminate the infection to prevent them from getting sick in the future.

More facts about TB are available on the Denver Metro Tuberculosis Clinic’s website.

About Denver Public Health

Denver Public Health provides a wide range of services that evaluate, promote and protect the health and well-being of the residents of Denver and beyond. Denver Public Health monitors the health of Denver and responds to disease outbreaks and other emergencies, as well as works with many partners to prevent health problems by decreasing injury, preventing tobacco-related illnesses and promoting health eating and active living.  The Denver Metro TB Program at Denver Public Health provides TB evaluation, treatment, prevention, and surveillance activities for Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. Other clinical services at Denver Public Health include: STD screening and treatment, family planning, immunizations, birth and death records, and HIV/AIDS care.

About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.