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HSE screens 336 people after TB outbreak in Cork school

HSE investigating the TB outbreak which infected 48 pupils and staff in Ballintemple.
Oct 16th 2010, 2:04 PM 287 0

THE HSE HAS screened as many as 336 people in an attempt to find the root of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in a Cork primary school.

Forty-eight pupils and staff attending Scoil Íosaf Naomha in Ballintemple have been infected, and parents of all 217 children at the school were given a letter yesterday explaining that active TB has not been found in any adult linked to the school.

A child is unlikely to be the the source of the infection as children’s lungs are not developed enough to carry the TB bacterium. Screening began in August.

So far seven children at the school have been diagnosed with full TB, 37 have a latent TB and five staff also have latent TB. The strain of TB in the school has responded to drug treatment.

Over a hundred children have been vaccinated against TB. All 170 children who took part in the second round screening were offered the BCG vaccine- which was not routinely available to newborns in Cork city until two years ago, at odds with national HSE policy.

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Niall Farrell

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