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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 12:05 GMT
Patients screened over TB scare
Royal Bournemouth Hospital
Patients have been offered screening for the disease
Patients are to be screened for tuberculosis (TB) after a health care worker was diagnosed with the disease.

Patients who have attended the renal dialysis unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital are being offered tests.

"The risk of the infection having been passed on to anyone is extremely slight," said Dr Jonathan Turner.

Patients who may have been in contact with the worker have been identified and have been sent letters offering them an appointment for screening.

Screening is being done on a precautionary basis
Dr Sue Bennett

Dr Sue Bennett, consultant in communicable disease control at Dorset Health Protection Unit, said there was no risk to the general public.

"Screening is being done on a precautionary basis. There is no need for anyone to worry, even if they have visited someone in the renal unit.

"Although TB is an infectious disease, you do have to be in very close contact with an infected person to catch it."

A spokeswoman from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital said the worker was from the Dorset County Hospitals' Satellite Renal Dialysis Unit which is based at the hospital.

The symptoms of TB can include a persistent cough that gets progressively worse over several weeks, coughing up blood, weight loss for no obvious reason and lack of appetite.


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