A case of pulmonary tuberculosis has been confirmed at Sunridge Place, a long-term care home in Duncan, Island Health said Monday.
Island Health (the Vancouver Island Health Authority) said the individual with tuberculosis (TB) is currently receiving medical attention. Island Health is following up with all individuals who may be at risk to make sure they are assessed. Arrangements are being made to ensure that testing is available to all those affected.
“It is important for the public to know that the risk is low for spread and Island Health’s actions, in this case, are prudent in ensuring no further spread occurs,” Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Island Health, said in a statement.
Hasselback said TB is an infectious disease that generally only spreads to people who were in close contact with an infected individual over a long period of time, and it is not easily spread to others. TB is spread through the air and sharing clothing, dishes or drinks does not spread the disease.
“It can take eight to 12 weeks for the TB test to go from negative to positive in those who have been exposed and become infected,” Hasselback said.
“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.”
Some signs of TB may include prolonged cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue or night sweats. There are about a dozen cases of TB on Vancouver Island each year.