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NHSGGC offers targeted precautionary screening for TB

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde is treating a case of confirmed Tuberculosis. 

The patient, who recently gave birth to a healthy baby in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital maternity unit, is responding well to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.  

As a precaution, 20 close contacts have been contacted and offered precautionary screening. 

Dr Emilia Crighton, Director of Public Health, said: “As a precaution we have offered screening to the close contacts identified. 

“While this action is in line with national guidance, I would stress that the risk to anyone who has come into contact with this patient is extremely low.”

 

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 common is TB?

There were 453 confirmed cases of TB in Scotland in 2011 and 150 in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde area in 2015.

 

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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