Futher TB screening at Llanelli school

Further screening for tuberculosis is being offered to pupils and staff at a school in Llanelli, after a member of staff was diagnosed with the infection.

Further TB screening offered at Llanelli school

The most common symptom of TB is a persistent cough Credit: Public Health Wales

More than two hundred pupils and almost a hundred staff will be offered screening for tuberculosis (TB) today at Ysgol y Strade school in Llanelli, as a precaution.

It follows screening last month which revealed positive test results in three pupils and a member of staff.

Experts say the risk of spreading the infection is low, and there is believed to be no ongoing risk within the school.

Sion Lingard, Chair of the Incident Control Team said:

"We are emphasising to pupils, parents and staff that it is rare for TB to be transmitted within a school environment.

"Further screening is being carried out due to the very small risk that others may have picked up the infection within the school. All those who are likely to have had some form of contact with the infectious staff member will be screened."

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What is tuberculosis?

Public Health Wales says tuberculosis (TB) is a curable infectious disease.

TB is potentially very serious and can be fatal.

It causes more deaths worldwide than any other single infectious disease, but declined rapidly in the twentieth century in Wales and other industrialised nations.

Public health officials are notified of around 200 cases of TB each year in Wales.

  • The infection is usually found in the lungs, but any part of the body can be affected
  • Anyone can catch TB by breathing in the bacteria in tiny droplets sneezed or coughed out by someone who has TB in their lungs
  • The most common symptom is a persistent cough for more than three weeks, with spit which can sometimes be blood-stained
  • Other symptoms can include weight loss, a high temperature, and sweating, particularly at night
  • TB is curable with a full course of treatment

Anyone who is concerned about their health should speak to their GP or contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

There is more information on the Public Health Wales website

Public Health Wales: TB screening is a 'precaution'

Public Health Wales says it is notified of around 200 cases of TB each year in Wales.

It says it is "very rare" for tuberculosis to be transmitted within a school environment, and screening is being offered to pupils as a "precaution."

We are emphasising to pupils, parents and staff that it is very rare for TB to be transmitted within a school environment and so we are offering screening as a precaution.

Close contact with an infectious individual over a long time period, such as living in the same household, is usually required for a person to become infected with TB.

The infection is difficult to catch but treatable with antibiotics.

Other close contacts of the person who has been unwell have already been traced. Another four cases of TB have been identified in the Llanelli area over the last year, but none of these have links to the school.

Investigations into these cases are continuing with the involvement of Hywel Dda Health Board with treatment, advice and screening offered where appropriate.

– Sion Lingard, Acting Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales,

Staff member at Llanelli school has tuberculosis

Screening for tuberculosis is being offered to 124 pupils at a school in Llanelli, after a member of staff was diagnosed with the infection.

Letters have been sent to parents at Ysgol y Strade today, to offer them blood tests next Thursday.

Public Health Wales says the risk that the infection has spread to pupils is "low" and screening is being offered as a "precaution."

Tuberculosis is a curable infectious disease - the most common symptom is a persistent cough. Credit: Public Health Wales

The 124 pupils at the secondary school are those identified as having around eight hours of close contact with the member of staff.

Tests will also be offered to 21 members of staff identified as close contacts of the patient.