Thu, Jan 07, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei Department of Health confirms case of tuberculosis

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei Department of Health yesterday confirmed media reports of a case of tuberculosis at a senior high-school campus in Taipei.

The department said the case was diagnosed in October last year and that it is implementing necessary measures.

A student was was diagnoosed with tuberculosis during a health exam for first-year students at the school, while a hospital confirmed the diagnosis.

Division for Disease Control and Prevention Director Chen Shao-ching (陳少卿) said the department was informed of the case on Oct. 30 last year and immediately contacted the school to put in place preventive measures to avoid spread of the disease.

Department Secretary-General Hsu Chao-chen (許朝程) said the student with tuberculosis “is undergoing treatment and has been taking prescribed medicine since being diagnosed at National Taiwan University Hospital on Oct. 23 last year.”

Thirty-nine students and 15 teachers who had come in close contact with the student were screened via chest X-rays and tuberculosis skin tests, Chen said, adding that 33 students tested positive in the skin test.

Chen said that a positive result in the skin test means that the subject has latent tuberculosis infection, though they might not have any symptoms and are not contagious.

“Among those who were in close contact with the patient, about 10 to 20 percent are likely to develop tuberculosis in the coming decade,” Chen said.

Chen said the department suggested that the students who tested positive in the skin test undergo a thorough evaluation to eliminate the possibility of a false-positive result and to determine whether they should undergo treatment.

Taiwan Adventist Hospital physician Wu Hsein-lin (吳憲林) said people should see a doctor if “persistent coughing lasts longer than two weeks” — which is a leading symptom of the disease.

People with tuberculosis might have a persistent cough, weakness, fever, chest pain, fatigue and could cough up blood, Chen said, adding that the disease can be treated by taking perscription drugs for six to nine months.

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