You are here: American University Student Affairs Tuberculosis Case at AU

American University

November 1, 2021

Dear American University Community,

The DC Department of Health (DC DOH) has informed us that a residential undergraduate student at American University has tested positive for tuberculosis (TB). The student is currently residing off campus to receive treatment.

TB is a disease that can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or otherwise releases the bacteria from their lungs or throat. Prolonged close contact in the same airspace is typically required, and it cannot be spread by surfaces, toilets, clothes, food, water, handshakes, or other casual contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The DC DOH is conducting contact tracing and directly notifying any students, faculty, or staff who may need to be tested. The University is working closely with the DC DOH. In keeping with public health protocols, the DC DOH determines who must be notified or tested based on their level of exposure.

Please know that methods we have used to protect against COVID-19, in particular the high masking compliance that our community has shown, will also be helpful in protecting against tuberculosis exposure.

If you have questions and concerns, please see these Frequently Asked Questions.

In addition, a community webinar will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2 to share information and respond to questions.

You can learn more about tuberculosis, how it spreads, prevention, and treatment by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The wellbeing of our community is our top priority. We will share updates as needed.


Fanta Aw
Vice President of Undergraduate Enrollment, Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

David S Reitman, M.D.
Medical Director, American University Student Health Center