Information on Tuberculosis

Dr. Mark Reed, director of the Dartmouth College Health Service, sent the following email to the Dartmouth community on Jan. 15, 2020.

To the Dartmouth community,

I write to inform you that staff at the Dartmouth College Health Service, working in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), have identified a member of our community who has an active case of tuberculosis (TB).

The community member is receiving excellent medical treatment off campus. They will not be returning to Dartmouth until they are medically cleared by the state.

The health and safety of our community is our most important concern and I want to stress that there is no further risk of tuberculosis contagion to the community from this person.

We are working closely with New Hampshire Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Elizabeth Talbot and her public health colleagues to respond to this situation. In the next few days, DPHS will begin identifying and contacting anyone who was in close contact with our community member and may need to be screened for tuberculosis. The process of contacting people in the community will continue over the next few weeks as the state gathers more information.

Members of the community are invited to two community forums to learn more about TB and the state's response from Dr. Talbot, an expert in tuberculosis and a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine who specializes in infectious disease and international health. Dr. Talbot will be in Hanover for forums to be held at noon today in Collis Common Ground, and tomorrow at 1 p.m. in 105 Dartmouth Hall.

TB is caused by a bacterium that usually impacts the lungs. Not everyone infected with TB develops the illness. There are two TB-related conditions: active TB, which our community member has contracted, and latent TB, which is present in the body without making you ill. Approximately 4% of people in the United States and 25% of people worldwide have latent TB.

Patient confidentially laws prevent us from releasing the affected community member's name. In addition, I ask those of you who are aware of this person's identity to be respectful of their privacy and not disclose their identity.

If you are a member of the staff or faculty and have concerns about your health, we encourage you to contact your primary care provider.

If you are a student with health concerns related to this issue, we encourage you to call Dartmouth College Health Service at 646-9400 or the state public health team at 603-271-4496.

Ensuring the continued health of our community is our main priority. We will provide updates as we learn more about the investigation.


Mark Reed, MD
Director, Dartmouth College Health Service

Video: Community Information Forum

A community information forum was held on Jan. 15, 2020.