Child at Luton school tests positive for tuberculosis

A child at a Luton school is being treated by specialists after testing positive for tuberculosis.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 6:30 pm
Updated Friday, 13th November 2020, 6:34 pm
Lealands High School

Lealands High School informed parents of the child's illness in a letter sent out today.

Public Health England (PHE) has also been notified of the case and says the patient has received treatment, responded well and is not considered to be infectious.

PHE, working alongside the school, Luton Borough Council and local health partners, have carried out an initial risk assessment regarding exposure at the school and at this stage, TB screening is not required.

However, students and staff have been made aware of the case and given information on the signs and symptoms of TB.

TB is a curable infection when treated with a full course of antibiotics. It does not spread easily from person to person, and the risk is only increased for those who have spent many hours in close contact and in an enclosed area with somebody with infectious TB.

Dr Sultan Salimee, consultant in communicable disease control at PHE, said: “We recognise that this comes at a time when Covid-19 (coronavirus) is very much at the forefront of our minds.

"Whilst some of the symptoms of TB may seem similar, Covid-19 will present as a very sudden onset illness of a high fever, dry continuous cough and sometimes shortness of breath.

“Whereas TB symptoms tend to develop more slowly over a prolonged period of time and are less pronounced. So, should your child present with Covid-19 type symptoms please adhere to the government advice regarding self-isolation and get a test.”