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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

Patient diagnosed with tuberculosis in University Hospital Galway

Everyone who came into contact with the patient has been offered screening for TB.

The case was confirmed at University Hospital Galway
The case was confirmed at University Hospital Galway
Image: Brian Farrell/

A CASE OF tuberculosis has been identified in a patient at University Hospital Galway.

A HSE spokesperson confirmed to that a case of TB had been diagnosed, and that screening will now be offered to patients and staff who had close contact with that person.

“All people who had close prolonged contact have been identified and we are in the process of contacting them,” they said. “The risk of transmission of the disease is considered to be low.”

The patient is now receiving the appropriate treatment in the hospital.

TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. It can infect many parts of the body, but usually affects the lungs. It can spread by breathing in bacteria sneezed or coughed by someone with it in their lungs.

For most people, the body’s immune system kills the bacteria before they start to cause symptoms and the person does not become ill.

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The HSE spokesperson added: “When a person is diagnosed, people who have been in prolonged close contact are offered screening tests to check if they are infected.

People invited for screening are offered specialised tests.  Further tests including X-rays or blood tests may also be required.

The disease is mainly prevalent in Africa and Asia, but there were up to 7,000 cases each year in Ireland in the early 1950s.

According to HSE figures, there were 319 cases of TB across Ireland last year, 17 of which were from Galway city and county.

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Sean Murray

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