New case of tuberculosis diagnosed in Alberni

The first case of active tuberculosis in a year has been diagnosed in Port Alberni.

The first case of active tuberculosis in a year has been diagnosed in Port Alberni.

Identified as an adult, the individual was diagnosed positive for TB requiring treatment sometime in the last two weeks, Vancouver Island Health Authority public health nurse Debbie McBride said.

The last case was diagnosed in 2010, and two cases were diagnosed in 2009. Such numbers are normal occurrences, a VIHA news release noted.

The person is not in hospital but is undergoing a three-pronged antibiotic treatment that will last six months.

McBride would not say if the person is a resident of Port Alberni, nor would she say if the person was known to local TB officials.

“I’m directed by my superiors not to give any identifiers,” McBride said.

Nurses from VIHA are conducting contact tracing in an effort to test for and stem any possible spread of the disease.

Medical officials from the Nuuchahnulth Tribal Council, who VIHA worked closely with during the 2006 outbreak, have been notified.

The BC Centre for Disease Control is testing samples from the most recent case to determine if it is genetically related to the 2006 strain of TB that swept through the Valley.

But results won’t be known for several months, McBride said.

The most recent case is the 54th positive test for TB in the Alberni Valley since the outbreak began.

But the case does not signal a new spate of the disease.

“This is not considered to be an outbreak situation like in 2006,” McBride said.

Since May 2006, more than 3,000 individuals in the Port Alberni area have been screened for TB.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com