GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — Federal health officials say the death of a 79-year-old man earlier this year is linked to the outbreak of tuberculosis at a Greenwood County school.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say a 79-year-old man died in March at a Georgia hospital and an autopsy determined he had tuberculosis.

Health officials say the victim sang in a band with a janitor who is suspected of spreading the disease around Ninety-Six Primary School.

The victim’s family indicated the men performed together until December, when the victim’s health declined.

The cause of death was listed as complications associated with respiratory distress syndrome. The man had been suffering from other health problems, as well.

Records indicate the CDC report was sent to state health officials last week.

More than 50 children school have been infected with germs from the disease.

Tuberculosis is primarily a disease of the lungs characterized by coughing, spitting up blood and chest pain.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has been criticized for waiting weeks to release information about the outbreak and for failing to test the children more quickly. The agency never said anyone associated with the janitor had died.

The children are being treated with medicine that health officials say will protect them by stopping the infection from developing into a lethal form.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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