05/14/2013 02:49 EDT | Updated 07/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland health authority confirms tuberculosis in high school student

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland's largest health authority says it is notifying school officials and close contacts of a high school student who has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Eastern Health announced Tuesday that it is investigating a case of the disease, saying it has been confirmed in a school-aged youth attending Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John's.

Health officials are notifying people at the school and will arrange tuberculosis testing for those who have regular, prolonged contact with the teen.

Eastern Health says it has told the school district and school administration, while a letter is being sent to parents of students identified as close contacts to inform them of the investigation.

The medical officer of health for Eastern Health says the risk to students identified as close contacts is expected to be low.

"Any individual who is identified as a contact will be notified by us directly — this means that if parents have not been notified about their child, the child is not considered to be a close contact," said Dr. David Allison.

Tuberculosis can infect the lungs, but can also infect other parts of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.