ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Jan 18, CMC – Antigua and Barbuda health authorities are denying there is an outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) at the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to re-emphasize that there are no active cases or outbreak of tuberculosis at the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital at this time,” an official statement said, even as it confirmed that one person “suspected of having the disease” died recently at the health institution.
“Although there has been no definitive diagnosis in this instance, the Ministry has begun to manage persons who may have been in contact with the suspected case in accordance with established Public Health guidelines because of the circumstances,” the statement said.
It said this management includes purified protein derived or PPD testing and subsequent follow up by an infectious disease specialist on an individual basis,” it said, adding “the Ministry of Health as part of its Public Health program routinely manages TB cases through active surveillance, contact tracing and the administration of anti-tuberculosis medication”.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis that usually affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air.
Health officials urged members of the public to practice good hygiene such as frequent hand washing and the use of disposable tissues for sneezing and coughing to reduce the spread of communicable respiratory diseases.