Eight students at a vocational school in Taojiang county, Hunan province, have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, according to a statement released by the Hunan provincial Health and Family Planning Commission on Monday.
The school is the second in the county to be hit with a TB outbreak since August.
The first case at the vocational school - Taojiang Occupational Middle School - was confirmed by the county's Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Oct 12. The center subsequently tested people who had been in close contact with the patient and discovered the other cases, the statement said.
All the students with the disease have left school for treatment, the statement said.
At Taojiang No 4 Middle School, 29 students had been confirmed with TB as of Thursday, including three that were cured, the Hunan health authority said last week.
Five other students were suspected of having the disease, and another 38 from the school were taking medication to prevent it, the commission said.
Of the 72 under treatment, 50 were fit enough to return to school, Wang Jianguo, deputy chief of the Taojiang county government, said at a news conference on Sunday.
Since Aug 19, about 70 officials and experts from the provincial and municipal health and education commissions arrived in Taojiang to guide the response to the outbreak, Wang said.
He said the local government will pay for any part of the treatment cost that is not covered by health insurance. The government had already paid more than 170,000 yuan (,600) for the first batch of 22 sick students.
The school will waive tuition and housing fees for students who return to school this year, and students who suspend their schooling because of the disease can continue their studies next year at no cost, he added.
Local authorities are investigating whether there was dereliction of duty or misconduct by government staff members in the handling of the outbreak, according to a statement released by the county on Saturday.
TB was first confirmed on Thursday by the county government, which said the outbreak occurred at Taojiang No 4 Middle School on Aug 19.
People diagnosed can return to daily life with a document from a certified hospital showing they have recovered or that treatment has rendered them no longer contagious, said Tang Yi, director of the Hunan Institute for Tuberculosis Control's department of prevention and control.