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Tuberculosis at Noble's Hospital 15 January 2004

The Department of Health and Social Security has acted to allay concerns regarding a Hospital employee who has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis.

The Department confirmed that as a precautionary measure and in accordance with the recommendations of the British Thoracic Society, all patients and other staff who have been in close contact with the staff member be offered screening to rule out TB. A list of all such patients and members of staff is being compiled from the records and anyone at risk will be contacted by letter.

The particular staff member has worked mainly in one area of the Hospital and has dealt with only a small number of patients. It is emphasised that the majority of the patients who have received treatment at Noble's are unlikely to have been cared for by this member of staff, and hence are at no risk.

If any member of public is concerned and would like more information they can contact the Confidential Helpline on 619425 which will be available as follows:

  • Monday 12 January 14.00 - 17.00
  • Tuesday 13 January 10.00 - 13.00 and 18.00 - 21.00
  • Wednesday 14 January 10.00 - 13.00 and 18.00 - 21.00
  • Thursday 15 January 10.00 - 13.00 and 18.00 - 21.00

Facts about TB

TB is caused by a bacterium. TB usually affects the lungs but it can affect any other part of the body.

TB is spread in the air. A person who has TB of the lungs can cough out the bacteria and another person can inhale them. But only some people with TB are infectious to others. Even then, one needs close and prolonged contact with such a case to be at risk of being infected.

Symptoms of TB: TB develops slowly in the body and it can take months before symptoms appear. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Fever and night sweats
  • Cough
  • Losing weight
  • Blood in the sputum (phlegm)

TB is completely curable with tablets.

Screening for TB consists of skin tests, chest x-ray and clinical examination. Not all those who are exposed to a case need to undergo all these. In some cases the tests may need to be repeated after an interval.

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