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Health officials probe new cases of active tuberculosis

18 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Photo by Samuel P is licensed under CC BY 2.0

An investigation is being carried out by Public Health Wales, Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB), and Ceredigion County Council into three cases of active tuberculosis (TB) in individuals who were close contacts of a student who died with the disease last year.

Following the death in October 2021 of a student who was resident on the Lampeter campus of University of Wales Trinity St David, close contacts of the were identified and screened for TB.

Three close contacts of the deceased person have since been diagnosed with active TB and are receiving appropriate treatment.

Outbreak control

Dr Brendan Mason, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said: “Following established outbreak control procedures, we have identified individuals who have had close contact with the deceased person.

“These close contacts have been contacted and screened for TB, three of whom have been found to have active TB.

“Our investigations have shown that the three individuals with active TB are all closely linked to the person who sadly died in October 2021.

“TB is difficult to transmit. It requires close and prolonged contact with an infectious individual for a person to become infected.

“Therefore, the university community and local residents can be reassured that the risk to the general public is extremely low.

“We have identified all the close contacts of the deceased person and they are receiving the necessary TB screening and follow up.

“Work is continuing to identify the close contacts of the three cases of active TB, all of whom will be invited for TB screening by Hywel Dda UHB.

“However, we encourage everyone to be aware of the symptoms of TB.  If you have symptoms, we advise that you speak to your GP, who can provide you with the appropriate advice and refer you for TB screening if required.”

Symptoms of active TB include:

  • A persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • High temperature (fever)
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swellings in the neck

More information on tuberculosis is available from the NHS 111 Wales website here.

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