North

Mass screening for tuberculosis to resume in 2016 in Salluit, Que.

A mass screening for tuberculosis in the Northern Quebec community of Salluit will be put on hold for Christmas, after unearthing 30 active cases of the disease and another 31 latent cases.

'For those who were not screened in 2015, we won't forget you! You will be seen in 2016'

A mass screening for tuberculosis in the Northern Quebec community of Salluit will be put on hold for Christmas, after discovering 30 active cases of the disease and another 31 latent cases.

The screening was launched five weeks ago in order to stop the progression of TB in the Nunavik community of about 1,300 people.

Blizzards and municipal elections made the screening challenging, according to a news release from the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. After a brief break for the holidays, screening will resume in 2016.

"We would like to thank everyone who participated so far in the screening," said mayor Paulusie Saviadjuk, in the news release. "Out of the 1,250 Sallumiut expected to be seen, more than 700 were seen and tested, which makes us really proud. For those who were not screened in 2015, we won't forget you! You will be seen in 2016."

Treatment and follow-up care will continue to be offered to those diagnosed through the process.

Though rare in the developed world due to improved living conditions and nutrition, tuberculosis outbreaks continues to plague several of Canada's Arctic communities, thanks to poor health conditions and overcrowded housing.

In the last several years, there have been dozens of reported cases of tuberculosis in Inuit communities, including a small outbreak in 2013 with 15 reported cases in Salluit.

Treatment is effective.

Symptoms can include a cough that persists for more than two weeks accompanied by mucus or phlegm, fever, great fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats and weight loss.

Anyone with those symptoms should contact their local health centre.

now