The Public Health Protection Unit of Greater Glasgow NHS Board have been investigating a case of pulmonary tuberculosis in a member of staff at a nursery in the Greater Glasgow area. As soon as the case was suspected the member of staff was excluded from contact with the children. Unusual features of the case have meant that pulmonary tuberculosis has only just been confirmed. The patient is on treatment and is expected to make a complete recovery. The closest contacts of this person, those thought to be most at risk of catching this infection, have already been screened with satisfactory results. On a precautionary basis we are arranging for all children who were on the roll and attending the nursery from August to end December 2002, to be screened for evidence of infection. Reassuringly, a similar screening exercise undertaken in a Glasgow nursery school in 2002 did not reveal any cases. Notes for editors: There are around 200 cases of TB each year in the Greater Glasgow area and more than 400 each year across Scotland. 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.
What are the symptoms?