Three more TB cases identified at DCU

College screens 100 staff and students in follow-up to earlier TB case on campus

  X-ray of human chest showing pulmonary tuberculosis

X-ray of human chest showing pulmonary tuberculosis


Three cases of tuberculosis have been identified at Dublin City University after students and staff were screened as part of an investigation into a case diagnosed earlier this year.

The HSE has confirmed about 100 students and staff were tested by public health officials in recent months after the earlier case was uncovered. Those tested had been in close contact with the original person diagnosed with the disease.

Three people were found to have non-infectious TB and are being treated appropriately, according to a HSE spokesman, who said there was no ongoing testing in relation to the incident.

The continuation of screening over a number of months, as well as a perceived lack of information about the outbreak, were raised as concerns by some parents who contacted The Irish Times. However, the HSE emphasised yesterday that the screening process was now finished.

A spokesman said all those tested were provided with written and verbal information on the reason for testing by medical staff. In a separate occurrence in the college last year, two students were diagnosed with TB.

TB is a bacterial disease which usually infects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body including the bones, kidneys and lymph nodes. Both infectious and non-infectious strands of TB can be contracted.

Symptoms of infectious TB include fever, night sweats, weight loss and coughing blood. Another form of the disease, known as latent TB, usually does not present any symptoms.

Last year, figures for the Health Protection Surveillance Centre showed a record low in the number of TB cases in Ireland. There were 375 cases last year, compared to over 7,000 a year in the 1950s.