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Northern Saskatchewan TB case prompts increased surveillance and testing

(August 14, 2013) Saskatoon – Saskatchewan TB Prevention and Control program officials have increased testing for tuberculosis (TB) following a confirmed case of active TB in an individual working at a mine site operated by Cameco Corporation. The individual was diagnosed last month and has been undergoing treatment.

TB Prevention and Control Saskatchewan and Cameco have been working closely to identify employees who may have had close exposure in the workplace. These employees are being notified and are being offered testing for TB as well as access to supports.

The risk of TB transmission is considered low but depends on closeness and duration of contact with an active case. People who breathe air containing the TB bacteria may become infected. People infected with TB bacteria don’t necessarily have active TB, but they do have a 10 per cent risk, over their lifetime, of becoming ill with TB. Symptoms of active TB include cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss. Active TB disease is serious but usually curable with a standard 6-9 month course of antibiotic drugs.

The Saskatoon Health Region manages the provincial TB program, TB Prevention and Control Saskatchewan.

In June, Saskatchewan released a five-year Tuberculosis Control Strategy that will guide provincial partners’ efforts to reduce the incidence of TB in the province. Approximately 80 cases of TB are diagnosed annually in Saskatchewan.

More information on tuberculosis can be found on the Saskatoon Health Region website at www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Jennifer Lyons
Communications Consultant
Saskatoon Health Region
306-655-0144

NT3