The Public Health Agency is aware that the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has been dealing with two linked cases of TB and a third possible case. As is usual practice, health protection experts at PHA have been working closely with the Trust on the public health management and follow up of contacts, in line with national guidance.
Screening is being offered to 43 former patients of Ward 6 North at Belfast City Hospital who may have been in contact with a patient diagnosed with tuberculosis. This action is being taken as a precautionary measure in line with standard national guidance.
TB is not easily transmitted and usually requires prolonged contact with an infectious case.
The risk of developing TB from casual contact with an infectious case is low, however the screening being currently offered may help to identify any further cases.
The most common symptoms of TB include:
- a persistent cough that gets progressively worse over several weeks;
- loss of weight for no obvious reason;
- fever and heavy night sweats;
- a general and unusual sense of tiredness and being unwell;
- coughing up blood.
All of these may also be a sign of other problems but if you have them and are worried, talk to a doctor or nurse at your local surgery or clinic.
The Trust has set up an advice line for anyone who may be concerned it will be available, 9am-5pm Tuesday 19 July until Friday 22 July 2011.
The number is 0800 9178226.
For more information on TB, visit:
For further information contact PHA Press Office on 028 90311611.