One case of active TB at Bloodbank@HSA
Other staff at the facility have latent tuberculosis, but authorities say there is no risk to blood donors
Some staff members at the Bloodbank@HSA have been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).
A spokesman for the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said one staff member tested positive for active TB in April.
The New Paper understands that the staff member, who is now on leave, works at the front desk and handles donor registration.
A staff member told TNP that at least six of them are being treated for the disease, though it is understood that the other cases are latent TB and not infectious.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the staff member with active TB was started on treatment upon diagnosis and was given medical leave.
"MOH and the Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU) were notified that a staff member of the HSA was diagnosed with active TB," she said.
"To date, there are no active TB cases among the close contacts identified for screening."
The HSA spokesman said that TBCU, which handles a national programme and is responsible for the prevention and control of the disease, has advised that there is "no risk to blood donors as they did not have prolonged contact with the affected staff".
There are 36 staff who work at the Bloodbank@HSA, and TNP understands that not all of them were sent for screening.
To date, there are no active TB cases among the close contacts identified for screening.Ministry of Health spokesman
The Bloodbank@HSA is located within the HSA building in Outram, and handles the collection of blood from donors.
TB is an airborne bacterial infection that is spread through close and prolonged contact with a person infected with the active form of the disease.
Signs of active TB include a persistent cough, fatigue and chest pains.
Those carrying the latent form have no symptoms and cannot spread the disease to others.
In June last year, six residents of Block 203, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 were diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB and MOH set up free screening at the void deck to test other residents.
Two months later, staff from two pre-schools were diagnosed with pulmonary TB.
Referring to possible exposure to the HSA staff member with active TB, the MOH spokesman said: "As patients would be on medical leave and started on treatment, there would be no risk of further exposure to workplace contacts once the diagnosis is made.
"Workplace contacts found to have latent TB infection are also not infectious."