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Kingston/St Andrew tuberculosis cases within expected range, says ministry

Published:Friday | September 6, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



The Health Ministry says the number of cases of tuberculosis which have been confirmed in Kingston and St Andrew (KSA), is within the normal range of expectations.




Yesterday, the ministry said seven cases were identified among inmates in police lockups in the KSA between January and August.



Tuberculosis or TB is a common, and in many cases deadly infectious disease caused by a bacteria that typically attacks theĀ lungs.



However, Chief Medical Officer in the Health Ministry, Dr Michael Coombs, says during the similar period last year, seven cases of tuberculosis were also identified.



He explains that based on projections from the World Health Organisation, Jamaica could expect approximately 200 cases each year.



Coombs reiterated that investigations have revealed the infections are unlikely to have been acquired in lockups but rather in communities of the inmates.

While refusing to disclose the names of the communities, he says those areas have featured in past diagnosis.



He also admits that overcrowding, a typical feature in Jamaican penal facilities, can become an environment that facilitates tuberculosis.



He says the public can be assured that active cases are being treated in keeping with established protocols.



In addition field investigations by the KSA health Department are ongoing including investigation and screening of household contacts and inmates in the affected lockups.



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