British Columbia

Tuberculosis case reported in Victoria

Island Health has sent letters about possible tuberculosis exposure to staff and individuals who stayed at two Victoria hostels in early March.

Island Health says risk of transmission low, those potentially exposed notified

Tuberculosis is a a highly infectious and contagious disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that mainly affects the lungs. (Channi Anand/Associated Press)

Island Health has sent letters about possible tuberculosis exposure to staff and individuals who stayed at two Victoria hostels in early March.

The health authority says one person who stayed at both locations tested positive for the lung infection — which is spread through the air.

The locations connected to the case are not being disclosed for privacy reasons.

The health authority says the risk of others developing the disease is low.

A significant amount of close, regular contact with the sick person is usually required for transmission.

But Island Health has offered TB screening and says everyone who may have been exposed has been contacted.

TB is not common on Vancouver Island. The most recent figures show there were 13 cases in the region in 2017.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported 1,796 active cases diagnosed in Canada in 2017. That is up 2.6 per cent from 2016, when there were 1,750 active cases.

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