November 30, 2023

An active case of tuberculosis in the Central Okanagan is being investigated by health officials.

On Saturday, Interior Health confirmed the case in an email to Global News, but noted it could not provide details about the patient due to privacy rules.

Often called TB, tuberculosis is a serious illness that mainly affects the lungs and can be spread by coughing and sneezing. Singing is also listed as one way it can be spread.

Click to play video: 'World TB Day and Tuberculosis in Manitoba'

World TB Day and Tuberculosis in Manitoba

“Tuberculosis spreads easily where people gather in crowds or where people live in crowded conditions,” reads a page from the Mayo Clinic about the disease.

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“People with HIV/AIDS and other people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of catching tuberculosis than people with typical immune systems.”

Interior Health says in the event of TB being detected, it evaluates people who could have potentially come into contact with the infected individual during their contagious phase.

“Those people who may have been exposed are then invited for evaluation to ensure they do not become infected,” said Interior Health. “Direct communication is established with these individuals.”

It also noted that if you haven’t been contacted by Interior Health, there’s no reason for concern, adding “there is no threat to public health stemming from this particular case.”

More information on tuberculin skin testing is available online.

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