Twenty-nine students had been diagnosed with tuberculosis by Thursday in an outbreak at a middle school in Taojiang county, Hunan province, local health authorities said on Friday.
Five other students are suspected of having the disease, and another 38 students are taking medication for disease prevention, according to a release from the Hunan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
The 72 students, from Taojiang No 4 Middle School, are now being treated and are under healthcare management, the release said.
After the outbreak in August, health authorities in Hunan expedited treatment and the outbreak is under control, the commission said.
Students and parents became aware of the outbreak in mid-August, when the school organized health tests at the school, according to the Beijing News.
The outbreak was first confirmed on Thursday by Taojiang county, which said the outbreak occurred at the school on Aug 19.
In a statement released on Friday evening, the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the country's top health authority, said its minister, Li Bin, had urged authorities in Hunan province to verify and release information and do their best to provide treatment to students after media reports of the outbreak this week.
Staff and experts dispatched by the national commission arrived in Taojiang on Friday afternoon to supervise handling of the outbreak, the statement said.
TB is curable and preventable, and schools must report confirmed or suspected cases immediately to local centers of disease control for screening and tests, the statement said.
"Many of our experts are dispatched to Taojiang to handle the incident," a staff member from Hunan CDC, who declined to be named, told China Daily on Friday.
People diagnosed can return to daily life with a document from a certified hospital showing they have recovered or treatment has been successful so they are no longer contagious, said Tang Yi, director of the Hunan Institute for Tuberculosis Control's department of prevention and control.