A nursery school teacher is said to have been contaminated by tuberculosis in Gironde, in the town of Libourne. The disease, which is contagious, was reported to the parents of the students. What is tuberculosis? How is it transmitted and what are the health risks? Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, answers us.
A case of tuberculosis was detected in a school teacher in Gironde. The man is a teacher of kindergarten students. The parents of the students were informed by mail on January 30, by the regional anti-tuberculosis center (Clat). An information meeting for parents was also organized even if there would not be “to date, (…) risk of contagiousness” according to the letter.
Screening of people who have been in contact with the master must be carried out. This is a chest x-ray. Parents, for their part, are invited to monitor the appearance of possible symptoms in their children.
What is tuberculosis?
Caused by Koch’s bacillus, tuberculosis is a contagious pathology, which causes lesions in the lungs. When it becomes widespread, tuberculosis can affect other organs: the liver, the spleen, the lymph nodes, the bladder, etc. The pathology is rather rare in Europe, with a stable number of cases, estimated at around 4,300. The figures are precise. since the disease is notifiable.
How is it transmitted?
Tuberculosis bacteria can be transmitted through droplets when a sick patient coughs. The bacillus then contaminates people nearby, the disease being contagious, but however, close and long contact is necessary to allow infection.
“Tuberculosis is a disease of poverty” notes Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens. “The vaccine is no longer obligatory and with the migration of populations, the bacillus circulates and certain strains are increasingly resistant to treatments“. Frail people are therefore at greater risk of contracting tuberculosis, the diagnosis of which is made by an endobronchial sample or on sputum, directly.
What are the symptoms and treatment for tuberculosis?
The affected patient presents disabling symptoms with cough, weight loss, fatigue, coughing up blood, fever and lymph nodes. Faced with an abnormal chest x-ray, the doctor must suspect the disease. Treatment consists of taking several antibiotics for six months. Once the bacillus is eradicated, the patient will be cured.
Isolation of the patient is also necessary, during the period when he is contagious, i.e. between two and six weeks. The close entourage must be screened to determine whether or not they have been contaminated by the patient. For prevention, it is possible to be vaccinated against tuberculosis: this is BCG, which is no longer compulsory except for healthcare personnel, the most vulnerable and in the event of travel abroad where tuberculosis is still circulating. .