Five children warded in a paediatric ward in NUH have been diagnosed with tuberculous (TB) according to the hospital. The NUH spokesperson said the infection of these children are only latent, and can be treated to prevent a progression to active TB.

“Individuals with latent TB infection do not have symptoms and are not infectious. They cannot spread TB to other people. Children are less likely to spread TB to others because the form of TB most commonly seen in children are usually less infectious than the forms seen in adults.”

The hospital found out the outbreak only when a nurse was tested positive for TB with a TB patch the size of a 50-cent coin on Nov 27. The nurse first experienced persistent coughing in July.

A total of 178 children were recalled for tuberculous testing. One of the wards affected was ward 47. 131 of the children are under two years old and 34 are especially vulnerable as they had just received a transplanted organ and were under immune system suppressant drugs.

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Tuberculous disease outbreak in National University Hospital, 178 children recalled for test