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THE PUBLIC HEALTH PROTECTION UNIT INVESTIGATE TB CASE

August 19, 2008 10:49 AM

The Public Health Protection Unit of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is investigating a case of Tuberculosis (TB) in a 17 year old male pupil at St Andrews High, Clydebank. 
The patient is being treated in the community and is responding well to treatment. He is not thought to be infectious, however, as a precautionary measure we are arranging for all close contacts, including his classmates in S6, to be screened. 
Dr Syed Ahmed, Consultant in Public Health Medicine for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “There is no need for either pupils or teachers at the school to be worried. This is an isolated case and not an outbreak.
“In keeping with national guidance we are screening all close contacts, including pupils in the patient’s class. 
“Letters have been issued to pupils giving details of the screening dates and offering advice and information.
“Anyone who has any questions or requires additional information can contact our Public Health Protection Unit on 0141 201 4917.”
There are around 200 cases of TB in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area every year and some 400 cases nationally across Scotland.
Close contacts are defined as those who spend around 3-4 hours a day with someone with TB most days of the week.
ENDS
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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.
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 cannot contract TB by sharing the same dishes and household items and you cannot carry the TB germ back to your own family if you yourself have had contact with a TB case and have no symptoms.
It is possible for someone to contract TB and not show symptoms for one or two years after exposure. These people can test negative on screening, but go on to later develop symptoms.
What are the symptoms?

Prolonged cough -dry or with a spit
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
High temperature or excessive sweating particularly at night and lasting for two weeks or more
Coughing up blood or dirty spit
Chest tightness or pain

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