The following information was issued to media on Feb. 23, 2016: Potential TB exposure

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Feb. 23, 2016

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) has been working closely with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) to identify those at risk of a potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure, and to notify the affected individuals. The individual who has been identified as having tuberculosis is a health care provider who worked at both hospitals.

The risk of contracting TB from an infected person through casual or short term contact is very low, and we do not believe there is a high risk of disease spread within the hospitals as a result of this exposure.   

“The safety and wellbeing of all patients and staff at LHSC and St. Joseph’s is of utmost importance, and we will continue to work together with the MLHU to ensure that all individuals at potential risk are identified and assessed as quickly as possible”, said Dr. Robin Walker,  Integrated Vice President, Medical Affairs and Medical Education, LHSC and St. Joseph’s.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, which in most cases affects the lungs, but can occur anywhere in the body. Symptoms of tuberculosis can include cough, fever, night sweats and weight loss. The most likely spread of the tuberculosis bacteria occurs through frequent and prolonged exposure in the same room with someone who has the disease.

“As of this morning, contact has been initiated with all staff and patients who have been identified as having possible exposure to this individual, either by phone, hand delivered letter, or both,” said Dr. Christopher Mackie, Medical Officer of Health at MLHU. “There is no on-going public risk related to this case.”  

The MLHU is available to those with further questions about TB at (519) 663-5317 ext. 5253, or TBinfo@mlhu.on.ca. Additional information about TB and TB treatment is available at www.healthunit.com/tuberculosis

About TB

If you have questions about TB, please contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit at (519) 663-5317 ext. 5253, or TBinfo@mlhu.on.ca

Additional information about TB and TB treatment is available at the Middlesex-London Health Unit website. 

FAQ:

How is it determined which patients are contacted?  
The MLHU has determined contact criteria. We are following proper procedures and processes to ensure everyone who may have been in contact with this individual is notified.
 
What if I am concerned I have been exposed to TB?
Contact has been initiated with all staff and patients who have been identified as having possible exposure to this individual, either by phone, hand delivered letter, or both. There is no on-going public risk related to this case.
 
I am concerned I have symptoms of TB. What should I do?
The risk of contracting TB from an infected person through casual or short term contact is very low, and we do not believe there is a high risk of disease spread within the hospitals as a result of this exposure.   

The MLHU is available to those with further questions about TB at (519) 663-5317 ext. 5253, or TBinfo@mlhu.on.ca.

Alternatively, please contact your family physician. 

Where can I get more information about TB? 
The MLHU has resources on their website, www.healthunit.com/tuberculosis.

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