Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay health unit says tuberculosis confirmed in city

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit says it is managing a small outbreak of tuberculosis in the city but residents shouldn't be too concerned.

4 cases confirmed Friday, public health officials say

Public health officials in Thunder Bay say four people have contracted tuberculosis. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit says it is managing a small outbreak of tuberculosis in the city and that residents shouldn't be too concerned.

"This is a really low risk to the general public," said Dr. Emily Groot, the associate medical officer of health at the health unit. "The prognosis for tuberculosis is usually pretty good ... the medications that we have available — unless the tuberculosis strain happens to be resistant — are effective in treating tuberculosis.

All four cases are in the City of Thunder Bay, Groot said, adding that they're not confined to a specific building or facility.

Public health officials say the cases in the city "have occurred in individuals who lack adequate housing," according to a written release issued Friday.

"The main thing that we should be thinking about is, as a community, how can we ensure that people have access to safe housing and good nutrition that protects us," Groot said.

The health unit statement said that people with weakened immune systems or who get poor nutrition are more likely to get infected with tuberculosis than others.

Symptoms of the illness can include a new cough, coughing up blood, chest pain, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is typically treated with antibiotics, Groot said.

Anyone who feels they may have contracted the illness should contact their doctor or seek medical care, the health unit said.

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