Singapore: On Friday (June 24), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah residents and workers were required to be screened for tuberculosis after about 170 previously screened people were positive. ..

The Ministry of Health announced in a news release that it will extend TB screening to June 24 and June 25. This applies to current and former residents of the block, as well as stalls, shopkeepers and their employees.

On-site chest x-rays are also done for certain residents who need further examination.

This follows an early round of voluntary tuberculosis screening for these individuals from May 27th to May 31st.

“Extended screening exercises and additional tests are free of charge. Anyone living or working in a block that has not been screened for tuberculosis must participate in an extended screening campaign,” MOH said. Says.

“The Infectious Diseases Control Law requires screening. Those who are recalled for further testing must also complete these tests.”

The Ministry of Health added that staff at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NCID) are visiting “non-responding units” to encourage previously unscreened residents to be screened.

Screening is not required for individuals who occasionally visit the block or its surroundings due to the low risk of transmitting temporary contacts in tuberculosis cases.

As of Thursday, a total of 574 of the 749 people in the block participated in tuberculosis screening, MOH said.

“Of these 574 people screened, about 30 percent tested positive for tuberculosis on a blood test,” MOH said without specifying the exact number. This is equivalent to about 170 people.

The Ministry of Health added that further testing is needed to determine if these people have tuberculosis infection or active tuberculosis disease.

MOH said patients with active tuberculosis will be treated and patients with latent tuberculosis infection will be given follow-up appointments at the Tuberculosis Control Unit and will be treated as needed.

“We also detected another case genetically related to the cluster by whole-genome sequencing. Contact investigations for new cases are underway.”

The screening station will be located at the Queenstown HockSan Zone Residents’ Committee Center in Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.

Residents who are unable to participate in the screening during these two days will be able to be examined at the designated SATA Clinic (Potong Pasir Medical Center) by August 5.

Tuberculosis cluster first identified in March

MOH was notified on March 2 of 7 cases of tuberculosis involving residents of Block 2, Jarambukit Mela. Residents were diagnosed between February 2021 and March 2022. All of them lived in different units.

Genetic analysis and relevance established in April of this year reveal that all seven cases have similar genetic makeup and are related by spreading from one or more common sources. Suggests.

However, as a result of the investigation, it was found that the case has no link other than living in the same block. They also didn’t know each other, interacted, or gathered in the same common territory, the ministry said.

In May, the Ministry of Health said it would provide voluntary screening as a precautionary measure and “strongly encourage” the participation of block residents, food stalls, shopkeepers and employees.

Health advisory

According to the Ministry of Health, symptoms of tuberculosis include persistent cough, low-grade fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, and chest pain that last for more than 3 weeks.

Tuberculosis usually spreads through close and long-term contact with the infected person, not by contact with objects or surfaces that the person with tuberculosis touches.

Therefore, the people who are contacted and screened after the detection of an individual with tuberculosis usually consist of family members, close colleagues at work, and acquaintances of common social activities with close and regular interactions. This approach has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is practiced in Singapore, MOH said.

“Tuberculosis is endemic in Singapore. Tuberculosis infection is not uncommon in Singaporeans, and the prevalence of tuberculosis infections between the ages of 70 and 79 reaches 29%. Tuberculosis-infected persons do not experience the symptoms of tuberculosis and are infected. There is no gender. “I added a ministry.

“Tuberculosis is curable and the spread of tuberculosis is preventable. Early detection and prompt treatment of cases is still important to help infected people and make them non-communicable. For individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis. , Adherence to treatment is important. “

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