Sands: More TB cases detected

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There are four confirmed cases of active tuberculosis (TB) on Eleuthera, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands revealed yesterday.

Sands, who spoke to reporters outside of Cabinet, also revealed that there have been 380 confirmed cases of people with positive Mantoux skin tests for tuberculosis on that island.

Meantime, on New Providence the number of teachers and students with positive Mantoux skin tests for tuberculosis at R.M. Bailey Senior High School has grown from 10 to 36.

Despite the notable increase, Sands suggested that there is no cause for concern.

He said though chest X-rays still have to be performed on the affected people, health officials do not believe that any of the school’s faculty or students have active cases of tuberculosis.

“We have just about completed the screening of the students,” Sands said.

“We’ve done about 700 to 800 students and all of the teachers and staff.

“Eight of the teachers have been shown to have positive Mantoux or skin tests and 28 of the students have positive Mantoux.

“We will now have to do X-rays on the students to determine if there is any sign of active tuberculosis.
“At this point, nobody is symptomatic.

“So we do not believe that there are any active cases of TB, other than the original case that prompted the concern.”

Sands initially raised concerns about the growing number of new cases of tuberculosis around the country in Parliament earlier this month.

When addressing the issue last week, the health minister said there are about 235 confirmed cases on Eleuthera, including those previously known to have positive tuberculin skin tests, along with new cases.

He said the number has since grown to 380.

“Thus far we have screened almost 2,500 people in Eleuthera,” Sands said.

“There were a number of suspicious chest X-rays and we’ve now identified four patients with active tuberculosis.”

However, Sands suggested that, in the grand scheme of things, the problem is minimal.

“Now if you do the numbers, say 2,400 or thereabout were screened; [there was] a total of 380 positive skin tests, and four out of that entire number with active TB, so the overall prevalence of active tuberculosis is less than a half of one percent.”

Sands said his ministry is now focused on eradicating the problem.

The post Sands: More TB cases detected appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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