Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik October 12, 2012 - 9:30 am

TB outbreak in Nunavik “currently being resolved,” health board says

Only one new TB case reported in Kangiqsualujjuaq since the beginning of August

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A public health campaign to lower TB numbers in Nunavik uses this image to show how germs are exchanged when people cough. (FILE IMAGE)
A public health campaign to lower TB numbers in Nunavik uses this image to show how germs are exchanged when people cough. (FILE IMAGE)

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services says it’s “taken stock of the tuberculosis cases in Nunavik.”

Since November 2011, 90 cases of TB originating in Kangiqsualujjuaq were reported to its department of public health, the health board said Oct. 11.

The peak of the outbreak was observed last May: during that month, some 20 cases were reported, while June and July each saw about 15 cases.

Over the past two and one half months, only one new case of TB was reported in the community of Kangiqsualujjuaq, the health board said.

“Consequently, the NRBHSS hereby announces that the tuberculosis outbreak in Kangiqsualujjuaq is currently being resolved,” it said, adding that follow-up on cases and infected contacts continues.

That’s a step up from message sent out last August, when the health board said it considered that “the tuberculosis outbreak in Kangiqsualujjuaq is currently in the process of being resolved.”

Now, the health board is advising people diagnosed with TB to take their full course of medication, that can last for months.

Complete treatment for those with active TB and their “infected contacts” leads to better control of the disease, the health board said.

The health board is also starting to immunize all newborns and children under the age of two years in Kangiqsualujjuaq with the Bacille Calmette-Guérin or BCG vaccine, which provides 80 per cent protection against TB for 15 years.

A skin test to screen for TB infection will be performed first.

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