Message From Dr. Karen Nardella

Friday, Jan. 26, 2024

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

I am writing today to make you aware of a situation involving one of our students who was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis. The student, who lives off campus, has not been back on campus since their diagnosis.

Upon learning this news, the University activated its response protocol. This includes prioritizing the care of the student and determining who may have been in close contact with them. This week, those who have been identified as having close contact with the patient were notified by the Onondaga County Health Department with support from the Barnes Center.

We have been in close communication with our partners at the Onondaga County Health Department. Below you will find basic information about tuberculosis. An informed community, ongoing education and increased awareness are among the most powerful tools to prevent, detect and treat this disease.

What is tuberculosis?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs.

How does tuberculosis spread?

Tuberculosis spreads through the air from one person to another. It is NOT spread by shaking someone’s hand, sharing food or drinks or touching personal items. People with TB are most likely to spread it to people that are their close contacts.

What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?

The most common symptoms include a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest or coughing up blood. Other symptoms may include fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills or fever.

How long does it take to show signs of tuberculosis after being exposed?

Some people develop tuberculosis within weeks of being exposed and others may get sick years later, according to the CDC.

To learn more about what you can do to prevent, detect and treat tuberculosis, please visit the CDC website. Anyone with additional questions or concerns should contact the Barnes Center, Health, by email or by phone, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 315.443.8000.


Karen Nardella, M.D.
Medical Director, Syracuse University Barnes Center, Health