UVic warns of tuberculosis case on campus, close contacts notified

UVic warns of tuberculosis case on campus, close contacts notified
File photo of the UVic sign

The University of Victoria (UVic) says it’s working with close contacts of a person who was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis at the school.

On Wednesday, UVic said a “member of the campus community” was diagnosed with active tuberculosis, a bacterial disease that’s most often found in the lungs.

Active tuberculosis means that the illness is growing and causing symptoms, according to Island Health, and if the bacteria is in your lungs it can easily spread to others.

TB is spread if it is present in a person’s lungs and someone else breathes in bacteria that they have exhaled, such as through laughing or coughing.

If TB is in other parts of the body, it is not easily spread, according to Island Health. Not all people who have a TB infection get sick, the health authority adds.

Notices sent to close contacts

On Thursday, Island Health told CHEK News that the person is no longer infectious and that they are receiving treatment and recovering.

It added that there’s no concern for the wider public and the overall university community.

The health authority says it reached out to any potential close contact of the person, which was approximately 185 people.

UVic says all potential close contacts received an email that included information like screening requirements, supports and other resources if they have follow up questions.

If you did not receive an email, you do not need to be screened, says Island Health.

“We understand that this news may cause concern, not only to those directly involved, but to the broader community,” said the school in its notice Wednesday.

“Please be assured that UVic is working closely with and following the advice of Island Health to respond to the situation and ensure all steps are being taken to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.”

According to Island Health, B.C. sees approximately 300 active TB infections every year.

In June, the province had 21 cases of tuberculosis, according to the latest data from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

March 2021 had the highest number of cases since January 2020 with 40 cases in the month.

SEE ALSO: WHO: Tuberculosis cases rise for the first time in years

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