The National University Hospital (NUH) will be calling in 178 children for tests after a paediatric nurse was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis.
In a statement to the media, NUH on Friday (Dec 4) said the recall was issued on Dec 1, after the nurse was diagnosed with the disease on Nov 27. Thr nurse, who works in Ward 47, had been off duty since Nov 24 before her diagnosis, said NUH's Head of Paediatrics Associate Professor Daniel Goh.
"Her co-workers who are working in the ward have been screened and none of them have symptoms of the infection," Assoc Prof Goh said, adding that the nurse was started on medication and has been referred to the Tuberculosis Control Unit for follow-up treatment.
According to NUH, the nurse had been down with a cough in July. She had sought treatment at a GP clinic but was not diagnosed with TB. However, the cough persisted and the nurse sought treatment on Nov 25, when she was given a CT scan which revealed a possible TB patch on her lung.
The nurse then informed the hospital on the same day and was tested for TB. The results were confirmed on Nov 27.
"TB is in the general community and is usually spread over prolonged periods in close contact with an infected person. In most healthy people, the immune system is able to fight the bacteria that cause TB," said Assoc Prof Goh.
NUH CEO Joe Sim added that the hospital "fully understands" the anxiety of the parents, and are "taking this matter seriously."
"As such, the hospital is taking the proactive and precautionary measure to recall patients who may be at risk to be screened," said Mr Sim.