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Five prison inmates infected with tuberculosis

Five prison inmates infected with tuberculosis

Posted  50 Views updated 27 days ago

Five tuberculosis (TB) cases have been confirmed at one of Jamaica's correctional facilities.

A media release from the Department of Correctional Services Tuesday morning did not name the facility.

It said the infected inmates have been hospitalised and are responding well to treatment.

No staff member has tested positive for TB.

Meanwhile, the contacts of the hospitalised inmates have been identified and are being screened by the health ministry.

The department disclosed that close to 100 inmates have already been administered the Mantoux skin test, which, together with screening for symptoms, including coughing, weight loss and fever, is done as part of the first level of evaluation for TB.

It said the next level of evaluation involves a chest x-ray and a sputum test for which inmates are currently being scheduled.

TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It usually attacks the lungs, though it can attack any part of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick and as a result there are two TB conditions that exist.

These are latent TB infection, which is where the bacteria live in the body without a person getting sick; and TB disease, which is where the bacteria are active in the body.

If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

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