NHS Lanarkshire’s Department of Public Health has offered advice and appropriate screening to patients and staff who may have had close contact with a patient who had tuberculosis (TB).
The patient, who was elderly and had other underlying health conditions, died in January 2010. The cause of death was not TB. The patient had stays at both Strathclyde Suite in Park Springs Care Home, Motherwell, and Wishaw General Hospital during October and November 2009 and January 2010.
NHS Lanarkshire’s Department of Public Health has contacted 80 patients to offer them screening as a precaution. All 140 staff have been contacted with information and advice, and offered screening if required.
These patients and staff were contacted following an extensive assessment process to identify everyone involved. No other patients or staff are identified as being at risk.
Dr Josephine Pravinkumar, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Lanarkshire said: “Tuberculosis is not easily passed from person to person. However, as a precaution we are offering screening to some people that we have identified as having had close contact with the patient over a period of time. TB is a relatively uncommon infection in Scotland. It is serious, but treatable.”
You can only catch TB from prolonged contact with someone who is coughing up TB germs although prolonged contact does not necessarily mean you will contract TB.
You cannot contract TB by sharing the same dishes or household items. Anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of TB should contact their GP.
Symptoms of TB:
Prolonged cough - dry or with a spit
Unexplained Weight loss
Loss of appetite
High temperature, particularly at night for more than two weeks
Coughing up blood or dirty spit
Chest tightness or pain