Devon

Pupil treated for tuberculosis at Teign School

Teign School
Image caption About 200 pupils and staff at Teign School were diagnosed with TB last year

A pupil is being treated for tuberculosis at a school that had an outbreak last year.

The year 11 pupil at Teign School in Kingsteignton, Devon, was "recovering well" and is a "low infectious risk", said Public Health England (PHE).

It added that TB screening was being offered to pupils who had had close contact with the affected pupil.

PHE said students should attend school as normal.

About 200 children from the school were found to have latent TB, the form of the disease which is not infectious, last year.

PHE said while the year 11 pupil had the "active" form of the disease, there was a "low risk" of any further cases emerging.

Tests would show if the case was connected with last year's outbreak, PHE added.

Dr Sarah Harrison, consultant in health protection for PHE South West, said: "Parents should be aware of the symptoms of TB.

"Should their children show these symptoms, they should seek advice from a doctor. The symptoms to look out for are a persistent cough for more than three weeks, feeling unusually tired or ill."

Tuberculosis facts

  • It is a bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs, but it can attack any part of the body
  • It is caught by being in close, prolonged contact with an infectious person who is coughing and sneezing
  • TB was rife in this country until the advent of antibiotic treatment, better housing and improved nutrition
  • A vaccine was introduced in 1953 and until 10 years ago children were routinely vaccinated
  • Now only babies and children considered at high risk are vaccinated
  • In the last decade cases of TB have risen dramatically in Britain, increasing almost 50% between 1998 and 2009
  • Last year, there were 6,520 in England and in Devon 51 active cases

Head teacher Mark Woodlock said: "It is always difficult to share news that one member of our community is not well.

"We are working closely with Public Health England to ensure that immediate action is taken to locate and treat any individuals who may also be affected and that parents are provisioned with all necessary information."

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