Friday, 6 July 2018

AHS: Potential tuberculosis exposure no risk to general public

Alberta Health Services - On July 4 Alberta Health Services (AHS) hand-delivered notification letters to 55 individuals potentially exposed to a confirmed case of tuberculosis (TB) in the South Zone.  The letters include information on arrangements for standard TB assessment and screening and treatment, if required.  The exposures were contained, and there is not a risk to the general public.

If someone is exposed to an active case of TB they may become infected by inhaling the germ into their lungs. They will not be able to spread the illness, because it lies inactive in the lungs. If the person becomes ill or run down, the TB germ can become activated, produce symptoms and become active TB disease. Only individuals whose TB infection has progressed to active disease are potentially contagious. Sometimes the infection never becomes active, as long as a person remains in good health.

Only those who receive notification letters from AHS are considered exposed to this case. Though this case is not a risk to the general public, we are informing the public of this case and our followup actions, as a matter of transparency.

Our TB Services and Communicable Disease Control Teams, together with our South Zone Medical Officer of Health, are working to manage the followup screening that is routine in response to any potential exposure to a case of active infectious TB.

We thank these teams and their support staff for their response. These efforts are in keeping with our commitment to high quality care, and our values of excellence and safety.

To protect patient confidentiality, no further case-specific details will be released by AHS, including where the exposure took place. For general information on TB, please click here. Anyone with questions can call Health Link 24/7 at 811.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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