Tuberculosis fears at Swedish pre-school

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Tuberculosis fears at Swedish pre-school
Swedish tuberculosis patients at a sanatorium in 1927. File: Pressens Bild/TT

Staff and children at a pre-school in Torsby will be tested regularly for tuberculosis, after fear spread that a person may have passed on the infectious disease nearly extinct in Sweden.


The pre-school in Torsby i Värmland County in central Sweden said on Tuesday that its 75 children and staff could have been exposed to the contagious disease.

"We don't want to say if it's a child or a staff member," manager Pernilla Larsson told regional newspaper Nya Wermlands Tidningen, but told local media that doctors said the person could spread tuberculosis.

Health guide website states that tuberculosis is rare in Sweden, but remained one of the most common infections worldwide. Swedish health professionals encourage anyone displaying symptoms to seek medical attention. Signs of a potential infection include a cough that lasts longer than three weeks, pain in the chest, and blood mixed with the mucous expelled when coughing. 

The staff and children at the pre-school in Torsby will undergo regular testing from now on, local infectious diseases doctor  Olle Wiik told Sveriges Television (SVT).

"We have strong hopes that no one is nor will be infected," Wiik said.

About 600-700 people fall ill with tuberculosis in Sweden every year. The disease, caused by bacteria, can lie dormant in the body for years.

"About four out of five who develop the disease are born outside Sweden," the medical information on stated. "Among those who fall ill with TB and are born in Sweden, the majority are over 65 years of age and were infected before the 1950s." 


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