(London, Ontario) - 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.
Media interviews will be available with Dr. Christopher Mackie and Dr. Robin Walker today from 2:45 – 3:45pm.
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About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 141 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 140 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Institute, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, and Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from more than 4,500 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Western University. For more information visit www.sjhc.london.on.ca
About the Middlesex-London Health Unit
The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s mission is to promote and protect the health of our community with a vision of enabling people to reach their potential. The Health Unit is mandated under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to provide delivery of public health programs and services to prevent the spread of disease and to promote and protect the health of people in Middlesex County and the City of London. Our work is further guided by the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards. Together, these documents set out the minimum requirements that health units must adhere to. For more information, visit www.healthunit.com
For media inquiries contact:
Middlesex-London Health Unit
519-663-5317 ext. 2469