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Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital announces tuberculosis case

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesman for Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital (AHNH) made the following announcement today (May 18) on a staff member confirmed as having tuberculosis:

     A nurse working in the Community Outreach Services Team attended the staff clinic on Monday (May 16) due to prolonged coughing. Chest X-ray examination and a sputum test were arranged for her. The nurse, whose sputum smear result was confirmed to be positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was clinically diagnosed as having tuberculosis on the same day. The nurse was immediately sent to the Chest Clinic of the Department of Health for treatment. The nurse is currently on leave.

     After being informed of the laboratory test result, AHNH started immediate investigation and performed contact tracing in accordance with prevailing infection control guidelines. Specialists in microbiology, internal medicine, hospital infection control and tuberculosis performed joint assessment and advised that the risk of infection for patients who had contact with the nurse is very low, taking into account that the nurse wore a surgical mask while on duty.

     As a precautionary measure, AHNH has performed contact tracing with five patients (one male and four female, aged 40 to 100), who are immunocompromised and had contact with the nurse concerned. It was confirmed that none of the patients concerned had reported any symptoms of tuberculosis. The hospital has explained the situation to the patients concerned. The hospital has also arranged chest X-ray examination for nine staff members who had contact with the nurse concerned and presented with the symptom of coughing. The results of chest X-ray examination for all the staff concerned are normal. The hospital has arranged specialists in microbiology and internal medicine to explain the situation and render necessary support for the staff members concerned.

     AHNH 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 health situation of the patients and staff concerned.

Ends/Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:20


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