Belfast Telegraph

Primary school pupil in TB alert

A primary school pupil in west Belfast has been diagnosed with suspected tuberculosis, health officials have announced.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) said the child attended St Joseph's Primary School in west Belfast.

The PHA said there was no evidence the pupil had been infectious to others.

Dr Michael Devine, consultant in health protection at the PHA, said an information letter and TB fact sheet had been sent to pupils at the school as a precautionary measure.

"I would like to reassure parents and those who attend the school that children with TB are rarely infectious to others and the risk to pupils and staff at the school is low," he said.

"There is no indication that this pupil was infectious to other people."

The PHA said it was working with colleagues from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and St Joseph's to "ensure an appropriate response at the school in line with standard practice".

Dr Devine continued: "TB is a serious but curable infectious disease which normally affects the lungs but it can affect other parts of the body. It is usually spread through the air when a patient coughs or sneezes. TB is a difficult infection to catch and usually requires prolonged close contact."

Margaret McQuillan, principal at St Joseph's, said: "The school is co-operating with the Public Health Agency to ensure the safety of pupils."

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