One TB case confirmed, preschoolers being tested

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Over a dozen children from a pre-school in St John’s are being screened for tuberculosis.
It comes after they were exposed to a student who health officials now know has the contagious disease.
It is unclear how many children are being screened for exposure but on Friday several parents at the pre-school were told to report with their children, to the St John’s Health Centre today, Monday.
At the time, they were only told that the children may have been exposed to a contagious disease.
When parents reported to the St John’s Health Centre this morning as requested, they were informed that the disease was tuberculosis.
Many are now upset that they were not informed sooner.
Reportedly, the child who health officials say had the disease was in contact with other children as recently as on Thursday.
OBSERVER spoke to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr James Knight on Monday morning and he suggested there was no need for alarm.
He said that the mandatory procedures are being followed now that health officials know at least one child was carrying T.B. He promised more information later on Monday after a planned meeting with other health officials.
However, parents are unhappy about what they say was the lapse in time before they were informed and the way the situation was handled.
Tuberculosis also called “T.B.” is an infectious bacterial disease characterised by the growth of nodules or tubercles in the body’s tissues, especially the lungs.
Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. Only about 10 percent of latent infections become active disease but if left untreated active T.B. usually kills about half of those infected.
The symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough often bloody, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. T.B. is also known as “Consumption” – a term adopted due to the weight loss that patients suffered.
The disease is spread through the air when people who have active T.B. in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. However, people with latent T.B. do not spread the disease.

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