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Tuen Mun Hospital announces a tuberculosis case

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) made the following announcement today (April 20) about a staff member confirmed to have tuberculosis:
     A part-time nurse working in a medicine and geriatrics ward attended the staff clinic on March 17 due to prolonged coughing. Chest x-ray examination was arranged. He attended staff clinic again on March 31 as prolonged coughing continued. A doctor arranged three sputum tests for him and the smear results were negative for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.

     The nurse attended follow-up consultation at staff clinic on April 7. As the microbiological culture showed positive for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, he was referred to Chest Clinic of the Department of Health for further follow-up. He attended the Chest Clinic the next day and was clinically diagnosed with tuberculosis. Thus, sick leave was given immediately. On April 11, further tests were arranged at the Chest Clinic and the report available later showed that his sputum smear result was also positive for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.

     After being informed of the laboratory test result, TMH had started immediate investigation and performed contact tracing in accordance with prevailing infection control guidelines. Joint assessment by specialists in microbiology, internal medicine, hospital infection control unit and experts from Department of Health in tuberculosis concluded that the infectivity of the nurse is very low, taking into account that he has put on surgical mask while on duty. There was no patient so far from the concerned ward showing any symptoms of tuberculosis.
     As a precautionary measure, the TMH is performing contact tracing to 12 patients who are immunocompromised and had contact with the concerned nurse to explain the situation and render necessary support.
     TMH has reported the case to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow-up. Meanwhile, the hospital will enhance infection control measures and closely monitor the ward and health situation of the ward staff.

Ends/Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:20


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