Some London hospital patients may have been exposed to tuberculosis
The Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) bacteria is shown in a 2006 high magnification scanning electron micrograph (SEM) image. (CDC / Janice Carr)
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2016 2:50PM EST
The Middlesex-London Health Unit says a health care provider at the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care has been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
As a result, the health unit and the hospitals are working to notify those who may have been at risk of being exposed to tuberculosis or TB.
The risk of getting the infection is very low, according to the health unit, and the risk of spread within the hospitals is also nnot believed to be high.
Dr. Robin Walker, Integrated VP of Medical Affairs and Medical Education at LHSC and St. Joseph’s said in a statement, “The safety and wellbeing of all patients and staff at LHSC and St. Joseph’s is of utmost importance, and we will continue to work together with the MLHU to ensure that all individuals at potential risk are identified and assessed as quickly as possible."
TB is caused by a bacteria that usually affects the lungs, with symptoms including cough, fever, night sweats and weight loss. It is usually spread through frequent and prolonged exposure with someone who has the disease.
The health unit says that as of Tuesday morning, all staff and patients who may have been exposed to the infected individual have been notified.
Dr. Christopher Mackie, medical officer of health at the health unit, added in a statement, “There is no on-going public risk related to this case.”
Anyone with questions can call the health unit 519-663-5317 Ext. 5253 or email TBinfo@mlhu.on.ca.
Additional information is available at: www.healthunit.com/tuberculosis