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Public Health Protection Unit Investigates Family/Social Cluster of TB

September 28, 2007 10:52 AM

The Public Health Protection Unit of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is currently investigating a cluster of TB (Tuberculosis) involving four individuals who are all either family members or close social contacts.

All four individuals - three females and one male - are being given the appropriate treatment at home and are all expected to recover fully.

Close contacts of the four cases, those thought to be most at risk of catching this infection, are in the process of being screened by public health experts.

Dr Oliver Blatchford, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “Although we are confident that this is a family cluster, staff from the St Enoch Hotel in Glasgow are also being screened as two of the cases are employed there.

“Our investigations so far have found no evidence that other staff and clients from the hotel are affected.

“This hotel caters for short stay single homeless people in the main and it is important to stress that there is no risk to the general public, including guests of the St Enoch Hotel as none of whom have had close enough contact with the two employees to put them at risk.”

Close contacts are defined as those who spend around 3-4 hours a day with someone who has TB most days of the week.

Our public health experts are continuing their investigations into this family/social cluster of cases and the situation is being constantly monitored.

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For further information contact 0141 201 4429


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What are the symptoms? 
· Prolonged cough (dry or with a spit)
· weight loss
· loss of appetite
· high temperature
· excessive sweating (particularly at night and lasting for two weeks or more)
· Coughing up blood or ‘dirty’ spit
· Chest tightness or pain 

How do you catch it?
You may catch TB if you are in prolonged contact with someone who is coughing up TB germs. You would need to have close prolonged contact with the person to become infected. Although prolonged contact does not necessarily indicate that you have contracted the infection. You can’t contract TB by sharing the same dishes and household items, and you can’t carry the TB germ back to your own family if you yourself have had contact with a TB case and have no symptoms. 

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
TB is an infection caused by a germ, which usually affects the lungs but can also develop in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or glands. It is not a common disease but if it is not discovered and treated, then it can be serious.


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