A possible tuberculosis exposure at a Fort McMurray Day Care is posing no risk to the region.
That’s according to Alberta Health Services, who are notifying parents of kids and staff at that day care, they may have been exposed to the bacterial disease.
Medical Officer for AHS Dr. Mayank Singal tells Mix News while the disease is contagious – it’s not to the same degree as measles or influenza.
“It’s transmitted through airborne transmission. Basically, when someone with TB coughs, that releases little particles into the air and those particles then remain suspended and then another person would breathe those particles in. That is typically how one would catch TB.”
At this point, no further details are being released as to protect patient and family confidentiality.
They will also not be releasing the name of the daycare in question, as all staff who are impacted are being notified directly.
Singal says AHS’s decision to notify the public was done in order to quell any concerns from the community.
“Sometimes it can create concern, panic or worry and we wanted to make sure we were addressing that and letting people know, whoever could have been exposed, we’ve already tracked you down to let you know. If you have not been contacted by AHS, you have nothing to worry about.”
Singal notes in order to catch TB – you’d have to be exposed to someone with the disease for extended periods of time.
“Just to give you an idea of how contagious it is, if you and I were living in the same household and I had TB and we lived together for a month – there’s a 1 in 3 chance that you would also get TB from me, so it’s not terribly, terribly contagious but it is somewhat.”
Routine follow up screenings are being conducted by TB Services and other AHS staff as a reaction to any possible exposures.
To find out more about TB – check out AHS’s frequently asked questions page.