Active TB case found in Colville Lake, N.W.T.

Health officials say a person from Colville Lake with contagious tuberculosis is being treated in a N.W.T. hospital.

Health officials say single case is not an outbreak

One person from Colville Lake is being treated in hospital for an active case of tuberculosis, say N.W.T. health officials.

Dr. Kami Kandola, the N.W.T.'s deputy chief public health officer, says the single case is not being considered an outbreak.

Dr. Kami Kandola, N.W.T.'s deputy chief public health officer, says the single case of tuberculosis diagnosed in Colville Lake is not being considered an outbreak.

Kandola says it's considered an outbreak only if there are two or more cases of TB that originated from one case.

She says TB is treated in both the Inuvik and Yellowknife hospitals, though she couldn't say where this case is being treated. 

She also says health officials will test anyone who may have come in contact with the person.  

Kandola says people are sometimes afraid of the disease.

"People who developed TB back in the '40s and '50s, typically they were sent out of their communities. And so there is, among the elders, a certain sense of fear and anxiety," she said.

Kandola says active cases of contagious TB are relatively uncommon in the N.W.T. She says it's more common to find cases of what's known as latent TB, which is not contagious and does not require a hospital stay.

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that can infect the lungs. Active tuberculosis, if left untreated, can be fatal. It is treated with a lengthy course of antibiotics.