Following a visit by Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand and a medical team, the Ministry of Health has confirmed that a case of Tuberculosis (TB) has been diagnosed in a secondary school student.
This morning a team from the Maurice Byer Polyclinic visited the school and spoke with students and school personnel about TB, outlining modes of transmission, symptoms, treatment and preventive measures. Students’ immunisation cards were checked to ascertain if they had been vaccinated with the BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin). They were also asked to complete a brief questionnaire.
A rapid assessment of 170 students was conducted, as a precautionary measure. Yesterday, parents were notified by letter of the possibility that some students may have been exposed to a respiratory illness and requested them to send their children’s immunisation cards to the school for a review.
Parents of students who have not been vaccinated with BCG will be receiving a letter asking them to bring their children to the Maurice Byer Polyclinic for further management.
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air from one person to another, when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. Symptoms include a persistent cough, fever, chills or night sweats. TB can be treated by taking several drugs, usually for a six to nine month period. (BGIS)