Possible exposure to tuberculosis prompts precautionary measure

Duncan – An active case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed at Sunridge Place in Duncan and Island Health is following up with all those who may be at risk to ensure they are assessed. Follow up through contact tracing has already begun.

“It is important for the public to know that the risk is low for spread and Island Health’s actions in this case are prudent in ensuring no further spread occurs,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Island Health. “TB is an infectious disease that generally only spreads to persons in close contact with a case over a long period of time and is not easily spread to others.”

Tuberculosis is spread through the air.  Sharing clothing, dishes or drinks does not spread the disease.

People who may be at risk have been contacted by letter and are being recommended to have a TB test. Arrangements are being made to ensure testing is available to all those affected. 

It can take eight to 12 weeks for the TB test to go from negative to positive in those who have been exposed and become infected,” said Dr. Hasselback. “Even if someone is infected, their risk of developing active disease is small and can be prevented with a course of medication which is available for free for anyone who needs it.”

The individual with TB is currently receiving medical attention for this highly treatable illness. The disease is treated with a combination of medications taken regularly for up to a year.

Some signs of TB may include prolonged cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, fever or night sweats.

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Media inquiries

Meribeth Burton
Phone: 250-519-1815
Email: meribeth.burton@islandhealth.ca