A woman patient at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has been diagnosed with tuberculosis, sparking an urgent effort to contact families she potentially came into contact with.
The bacterial disease can attack the lungs.
SA Health confirmed that all families who could be affected by the incident have now been notified.
The woman is in a stable condition and receiving treatment. She attended the WCH prior to being diagnosed.
All families who may potentially be affected have been identified and are being contacted by a WCH Medical Officer, and will receive follow-up with relevant health information from SA Tuberculosis Services.
“This is a standard precautionary response and there is no increased public health risk and no need for community concern,” officials said in a statement.
South Australia has one of the lowest rates of tuberculosis in the world.
There are about 70 cases of tuberculosis in SA each year and almost all new cases in Australia are diagnosed in people who are believed to have contracted the disease overseas.
Because TB is not common in Australia, the vaccine is not part of the routine vaccination schedule but is recommended in some circumstances, such as travel to certain countries and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies living in some parts of Australia.
It is spread from one person to another through the air. When a person with untreated lung or throat TB coughs, speaks or sneezes, the bacteria are expelled into the air and people nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
Most people who are infected with TB never develop TB disease. It can almost always be cured if medicine is taken as directed by doctor and the course completed.