Tuberculosis diagnosed and treated in student at Neale Wade Academy

Neale Wade Academy March. Principal Jason Wing . The Academy has taken advice from Public Health Eng

Neale Wade Academy March. Principal Jason Wing . The Academy has taken advice from Public Health England over a student who had TB - Credit: Archant

A student at Neale Wade Academy is being treated for tuberculosis and their close friends tested.

Parents have been sent a letter to assure them that although TB is contagious it is very unlikely that anyone else has picked it up as you need to be in close contact for a prolonged period of time to catch it.

NHS Choices website confirms that the TB jab is no longer given as standard.

Gary Peile, chief executive of the Active Learning Trust, said: “We have recently been working with Public Health England regarding a case of tuberculosis (TB) linked to The Neale-Wade Academy.

“Public Health England has followed national protocol in dealing with this case, and both The Academy and the Trust are fully supportive of the actions that have been and are being taken.

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“As per the accompanying letter, there is minimal risk that anyone at the school has acquired TB as a result of this case.

“However, close contacts of the case have been offered testing by Public Health England, as a precaution.

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“The Active Learning Trust is fully supportive of this course of action and wishes to thank Public Health England for their support.”

NHS Choices website says: “The BCG vaccine (which stands for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine) is not given as part of the routine NHS vaccination schedule.

“It’s given on the NHS only when a child or adult is thought to have an increased risk of coming into contact with TB.”

Gillian Beasley, nurse consultant for Public Health England, said; “We are writing to inform you of a case of tuberculosis (TB) associated with Neale-Wade Academy.

“This person has received treatment, is doing well and no longer infectious.

“Although TB is an infectious disease, the risk that anyone has acquired it in the school from this case is very small.

“Close contact over a long period of time is required for the infection to spread from an infected individual.

“As a precaution, we have identified the very close contacts of the case and have offered them testing for TB.

“Your child is not at increased risk of TB as a result of this case.

“However, we would like you to be aware of the symptoms of TB.”

TB usually develops slowly, over a few months, with any of the following symptoms:

• Cough going on for more than three weeks

• Phlegm (thick spit) which may be bloodstained

•? Fever and heavy sweating especially at night

•? Weight loss for no obvious reason

•? Loss of appetite

If you have any concerns about your child’s health, please contact your GP, she added.

• The NHS website says TB is a bacterial infection caught by inhaling tiny drops from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person.

With treatment, TB can almost always be cured. A course of antibiotics will usually need to be taken for six months.

Although TB is spread in a similar way to a cold or the flu, it isn’t as contagious.

You would have to spend prolonged periods (several hours) in close contact with an infected person to catch the infection yourself.

For example, TB infections usually spread between family members who live in the same house. It would be highly unlikely for you to become infected by sitting next to an infected person on a bus or train.

In most healthy people, the immune system is able to destroy the bacteria that cause TB, NHS adds.

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