The Ministy of Health (MOH) is expressing concern that the number of patients admitted to hospital suffering from Tuberculosis (TB) is increasing.
However officials say they are working diligently to prevent an outbreak of the disease in the country.
Last week Dominica’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. David Johnson confirmed to Dominica News Online that a number of people have been hospitalised at the Imary ward of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) suffering from the disease.
“I can confirm to you that presently we have five cases at the PMH with TB and they are isolated…” Dr. JOhnson said at the time.
However in its latest release issued on Wednesday the MOH is confirming that there are now six patients.
“Though Tuberculosis has been in existence in Dominica for a very long time, the Ministry is concerned about the increased number of patients who are admitted for treatment at the hospital,” the release said.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria (germ) Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It usually attacks the lungs causing a condition called Pulmonary TB.
TB may also occur outside the lungs in the lymph nodes, bones .kidneys, spine and brain.
However, TB of the lung is the most common form of the disease.
An infected person can spread the infection to other people by contact with other persons when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing or spit.
HEALTH MINISTRY INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES:
Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB) of the lungs include:
• A cough that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks
• Weight loss
• Night sweats
• loss of appetite
• Coughing up blood.
Persons with symptoms should report to their doctor, nearest Health Care Provider or to the Princess Margaret Hospital.
TB is a curable disease. All patients who are infected with TB need to be admitted to the Hospital until such time that they can no longer transmit the disease to other persons.
The general public is advised to practice safety measures such as:
1. Ensuring the BCG vaccination of children to prevent TB.
2. Schedule a TB test if you have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis.
3. Receive additional testing if a TB test is positive. Tests may include a chest x-ray and a sputum test.
4. Begin immediate treatment as prescribed by your doctor
5. Avoid overcrowding
The Ministry of Health is informing the population that it has stepped up the vigilance in the fight against Tuberculosis and solicits the support of the general public in preventing an increase in the number of TB cases Dominica.