Letters delivered to 55 people after potential tuberculosis exposure, but no risk to public says AHS

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
July 4, 2018 - 3:31pm

LETHBRIDGE - Alberta Health Services hand-delivered notification letters to 55 individuals potentially exposed to a confirmed case of tuberculosis in the South Zone on Wednesday, July 4.

The letters included information on arrangements for standard tuberculosis assessment and screening and treatment if required.

In a release, AHS says the infected individual works at a food processing plant, but transmission of the infection is not related to the food processed at this facility.

There is no evidence to suggest transmission could occur from consuming the food prepared at this facility and since the exposures were contained there’s not a risk to the public.

Only those who receive notification letters from AHS are considered exposed to this case. 

Though this case is not a risk to the public, AHS says informing the public of this case and of their follow-up actions is a matter of transparency.

If someone is exposed to an active case of tuberculosis, they may become infected by inhaling the germ into their lungs. They will not be able to spread the illness, because it lies inactive in the lungs. 

If the person becomes ill, the tuberculosis germ can become activated, produce symptoms and become an active disease. Only individuals whose tuberculosis infection has progressed to active disease are potentially contagious.

AHS tuberculosis Services and Communicable Disease Control Teams, together with the South Zone Medical Officer of Health, are working to manage the follow-up screening that’s routine in response to any potential exposure to a case of active infectious tuberculosis. 

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