SINGAPORE: About 170 persons who were screened earlier for tuberculosis tested positive, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH), therefore screenings for residents and workers in Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah are now required (Jun 24).
The Ministry of Health said in a press statement that tuberculosis screening will be extended to June 24 and June 25. This rule will apply to everyone on the block, including current and previous residents, stallholders, shop owners, and the people who work in their establishments.
For those people who need additional testing, an on-site chest X-ray will also be performed.
Prior to this, these individuals were subject to a voluntary tuberculosis screening from May 27 through May 31.
There will be no price for the additional screening and testing. Participation in the screening is mandatory for everyone residing in or working at the block who has not previously been checked for tuberculosis, said MOH.
It is a legal requirement under the Infectious Diseases Act to do the screening. Individuals called back for additional testing will also be expected to take these tests.”
For those who have not yet been screened, the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) has made a point of going to “non-respondent units” to talk with inhabitants.
The risk of transmission to people who are transient contacts of a tuberculosis case is low enough that screening is not required for those who infrequently visit the block or the surrounding area.
On Thursday, MOH reported that 574 of the 749 persons in the block had been screened for tuberculosis.
According to MOH, a blood test found tuberculosis in 30 percent of the 574 patients who had been screened. However, the ministry did not provide a precise percentage. This equates to approximately 170 people.
As the Health Ministry pointed out, additional tests are needed to figure out if the people in question are infected with tuberculosis or have the disease itself.
According to the Ministry of Health, people with active tuberculosis disease would be treated, while those with latent tuberculosis infection will be offered treatment if appropriate.
At Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah, the Queenstown Hock San Zone Residents’ Committee Center, the screening station will be located.
The SATA Clinic (Potong Pasir Medical Centre) will conduct screenings till the 5th of August for those who are unable to come on these two dates.
Tuberculosis symptoms include a chronic cough lasting three weeks or more, a low-grade fever, sweats, exhaustion, weight loss, and chest pain, according to the Ministry of Health.
In most cases, tuberculosis is transmitted through close and continuous contact with an infected person, rather than through contact with products or surfaces that have been handled by an infected person.
This means that people who are approached and screened in the wake of a tuberculosis diagnosis are almost always members of the patient’s immediate family, close coworkers at work, or acquaintances from mutual social activities. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), this is a method that is both suggested by the WHO and actually used in Singapore.
The ministry added that Singapore has a high prevalence of tuberculosis. The frequency of tuberculosis infection in Singaporeans is as high as 29 percent among individuals aged 70 to 79 years old. Infection with TB does not cause symptoms and is not contagious.
Tuberculosis can be cured, and it can also be stopped from spreading. Detection and treatment of instances as soon as possible are critical in preventing further spread of the disease. Adherence to treatment is critical for those who have been diagnosed with tuberculosis.