Pulmonary tuberculosis hits 13 students in Shanghai

Thirteen students at a local school were found to have been infected with pulmonary tuberculosis. The condition is stable and under control, the government said.

Thirteen students at a Shanghai vocational school were found to have been hit by pulmonary tuberculosis recently and are now in stable condition after being treated, local health and education authorities said tonight in a joint statement.

Two students at the Health School Affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences was initially suspected of having pulmonary tuberculosis in the recent annual health exam, the statement said.

Further investigation showed that nine other students in the same class, and another two from other classes were also suspected of having the same disease. All the 13 suspected cases were later confirmed, and the patients have received standard treatment, according to the statement.

The outbreak has been effectively controlled and the school is back in good order, it added. The statement did not say when the incident happened or what exactly led to the outbreak. It said that the school reported the incident to the city’s health authority on November 22.

The health authority immediately set up a joint investigation team with the Shanghai Education Commission, and engaged disease prevention and control agency as well as medical practitioners to conduct epidemiological investigation. They also urged the school to disinfect the campus.

The education commission held an emergency meeting to order all local schools to do their best to prevent and control infectious diseases and enhance health monitoring among all students in the city.

Health authorities explained that tuberculosis is usually caused by some species tubercle bacillus and mainly spreads via respiratory tract. People who have received related vaccinations face lower risk of infection.

Commonly seen symptoms for pulmonary tuberculosis include cough and expectoration that last more than two weeks.

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