June 12th, 2024

Dozens receive warning letters after confirmed case of TB

By Gillian Slade on July 5, 2018.


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Several people may have been exposed to tuberculosis in the Alberta Health Services south zone.

A confirmed case prompted AHS to hand-deliver letters Wednesday to 55 people informing them of possible exposure to TB, with information on assessment, screening and treatment, if required.

The person with TB works at a food processing plant but AHS says transmission of the infection is not related to the food processed at this facility. There is no evidence to suggest transmission could occur from consuming the food prepared at this facility, AHS stated in a press release. To protect patient confidentiality, no further case-specific details will be released by AHS, including where the exposure took place.

“The exposures were contained, and there is not a risk to the general public,” states the press release.

Someone can be infected with TB if they inhale the germ, from someone with an active case of TB, into their lungs. They will not be able to spread the illness, because it lies inactive in the lungs, says the press release.

If the person becomes ill or has a compromised immune system, the TB germ can be activated, produce symptoms and become an active TB disease. Only individuals whose TB infection has progressed to active disease are potentially contagious, says the press release. Sometimes the infection never becomes active.

Only those who received notification letters from AHS are considered exposed to this case. Although this case is not a risk to the general public, the public are being notified as a matter of transparency, reads the AHS press release.

“Our TB Services and Communicable Disease Control Teams, together with our South Zone Medical Officer of Health, are working to manage the follow-up screening that is routine in response to any potential exposure to a case of active infectious TB.”

Anyone with questions can call Health Link 24/7 at 811.

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