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Alert after TB confirmed in hospital

A close-up of the tuberculosis bacteria
A close-up of the tuberculosis bacteria

by Mary Graham

A Maidstone Hospital worker has been confirmed as suffering from .

Screening is being offered to patients and staff at who may have come into contact with the worker.

The health care worker, who is based at the hospital in Hermitage Lane, Maidstone, is making a good recovery.

Dr Sara Mumford, director of infection prevention and control at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: "The safety of our patients and staff is our prime concern.

"Staff who worked alongside the health care worker are being offered screening at the same time as the patients. I want to stress that the risk to both patients and staff is minimal."

Dr Mathi Chandrakumar, director of the Health Protection Agency’s Kent Health Protection Unit said: "As a precautionary measure TB screening is being offered to patients and staff who may have been exposed while the health care worker was unaware of their infection.

"In a previous case when TB was found in a health care worker in a Kent hospital, a large number of people were screened and none of them were found to have TB, so we know the risk is low."

Letters went to patients and staff this week and everyone who may have had contact with the infected worker is being contacted individually.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by infection with the mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. It is completely treatable and is usually transmitted when a person with infection in the lung has close and sustained contact with others.

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