Case of TB identified in Galway hospital

A case of tuberculosis (TB) has been identified in University Hospital Galway, the HSE confirmed this evening.

The HSE West Department of Public Health said that a procedure is in place to help prevent the spread of the infectious disease.

“In line with best medical practice TB screening will offered to patients and staff who had close contact with the person,” a statement read.

“All people who had close prolonged contact have been identified and we are in the process of contacting them.”

This procedure is called ‘contact tracing’ and can involve screening family or others living with the person with TB, and others in close contact. Specialised tests, including X rays or blood tests may be required.

“The risk of transmission of disease is considered to be low. The patient is being managed appropriately,” the statement continued.

University Hospital Galway

TB is caused by bacteria which can be spread by breathing in these bacteria sneezed or coughed by someone who has TB in their lungs.

In most people, the body’s immune system kills the bacteria before they start to cause symptoms and the person does not become ill.

TB used to be very common in Ireland but is now much rarer. There were up to 7000 cases each year in the early 1950s. In 2016 there were 319 cases across Ireland, 17 of these were from Galway city and county.


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