An active case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed at College of New Caledonia in Prince George, and Northern Health is following up with all those who may be at risk to ensure they are assessed. Follow up through contact tracing has already begun.
“The risk is low for spread of TB to anyone other than close contacts of the index case,” said Dr. Andrew Gray, Northern Health Medical Health Officer. “TB is an infectious disease that generally only spreads to persons in close contact with an infected person over a long period of time and is not easily spread to others.”
Tuberculosis is spread through the air. Sharing clothing, dishes or drinks does not spread the disease.
People who may be at risk are being contacted directly and are being urged to have a TB test. Arrangements are being made to ensure testing is available to all those affected.
It can take eight to 12 weeks for the TB test to go from negative to positive in those who have been exposed. Even if someone is infected, their risk of developing active disease is small and can be prevented with a course of medication which is available for free for anyone who needs it.
The individual with TB is currently receiving medical attention and is on appropriate medications for this highly treatable illness.
Some symptoms of TB may include prolonged cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, fever or night sweats.