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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 16:44 GMT
Students tested for tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Students are being offered screening tests
About 170 students at a Scottish university have been offered tests for tuberculosis after an undergraduate was diagnosed with the disease.

The first-year medical student at St Andrews University is now recovering from the respiratory disorder.

A spokesman for NHS Fife said the risk to students and staff at the university were "extremely low".

Students are being offered TB screening and the university said it was liaising with the local health board.

NHS Fife's Dr Charles Saunders said everyone within the university's medical school should take advantage of the screening procedure.

"We believe it is prudent to get in touch with people who had close contact with the student to offer reassurance and screening," he said.

We are satisfied the risks to students and staff are extremely low
University spokesman
"All potential contacts have been identified and have been spoken to by the university and we have written to them to make them aware of the situation, to offer reassurance and information.

"It is important to stress that it is very difficult to catch tuberculosis.

"It requires close and prolonged contact with an infected person and even then only a very small proportion of people actually develop the disease."

'Appropriate measures'

The university said the infected student, who started at the end of September, was making a good recovery and would return to his studies very soon.

A spokesman added: "We are working closely with Fife NHS Board and are satisfied the risks to students and staff are extremely low and all appropriate measures have been taken."

TB is a disease which usually attacks the lungs, but it can affect almost any part of the body.

A person with TB does not necessarily feel ill but the symptoms can include a cough that will not go away, feeling tired, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, night sweats and coughing up blood.

Like the common cold, TB is spread through the air after infected people cough or sneeze.


SEE ALSO:
Pupils tested for tuberculosis
19 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Pupils to be screened for TB
26 Mar 03 |  Scotland
TB case confirmed in Glasgow
28 Nov 03 |  Scotland


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