​Investigations ongoing following a confirmed case of TB at Blackwood Comprehensive School

PUBLIC Health Wales, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, and Caerphilly County Borough Council are investigating a single case of tuberculosis (TB) in an individual associated with Blackwood Comprehensive School.

As a precaution, all pupils and teachers who had contact with the individual will be offered screening for TB. There is nothing to suggest that the case contracted TB at the school, rather they have attended the premises when they unknowingly had the infection. No outbreak has been declared.

Lika Nehaul, Locum Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health Wales and chair of the multi-agency incident management team said:

“Following established infection control procedures we have identified individuals who may have had contact with the individual concerned, these individuals have been contacted and offered screening for TB which is easily treated with a course of antibiotics. Local GPs have been informed.

“This is a routine process, and if any other positive TB infections are identified as a result, appropriate treatment will be offered.

“TB is difficult to transmit. It requires close and prolonged contact with an infectious individual for a person to become infected. In this instance, and to limit the potential spread of infection, we are treating all pupils and teachers who may have had contact with the individual as close personal contacts.

“I would stress that the risk of infection with TB to the general public remains very low however, we encourage parents, pupils, and staff members to be aware of the symptoms.”

Symptoms of active TB include:

A persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks and usually brings up phlegm, which may be bloody; Weight loss; Night sweats; High temperature (fever); Tiredness and fatigue; Loss of appetite and Swellings in the neck

If anyone associated with the school has experienced any of these symptoms or is concerned about their health, they should speak to their GP, or contact the Public Health Wales’ Health Protection Team on 0300 00 300 32 (between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday).

Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com
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