SINGAPORE: A case of tuberculosis (TB) was discovered at Peacehaven Bedok Day Centre in late June, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday (Aug 19).
In response to queries, MOH said both the ministry and the Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU) were notified of the TB case on Jun 26, and that the patient is now undergoing treatment for TB.
The centre's executive director, Mdm Low Mui Lang, said in a statement that the resident was segregated after she started coughing. "She was then admitted to hospital and was diagnosed with tuberculosis," she said, adding that the resident is no longer infectious.
MOH added that TBCU initiated contact tracing, and all who were in close contact with the patient have been screened.
"36 residents and staff at Peacehaven Bedok Day Centre who were close contacts were screened, and no cases of active TB were found," MOH said.
Mdm Low said a few clients and staff members were diagnosed with latent TB, and are taking medication "as a form of prevention".
MOH said TBCU is following up with patients who were diagnosed with latent TB for treatment and monitoring, adding that these cases may not be linked to the active case diagnosed in June this year, as people who have been exposed to the disease may develop latent TB infection (LTBI).
MOH added that TB is endemic in Singapore, and those who have latent TB do not have symptoms of the disease such as cough, and are not infectious. "In most healthy adults with LTBI, the TB bacteria remain inactive in their body throughout their life," MOH said.
The centre has also stepped up its infection control measures to prevent further contamination, Mdm Low added.
This comes after a cluster of six multi-drug resistant TB infections were found at a block of flats in Ang Mo Kio that was reported in June this year. The six individuals came from four separate units at Block 203 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, and their ages ranged from early 20s to 70 years old.
Upon this discovery, health authorities offered free TB screenings to the block's residents. A total of 223 residents and former residents were screened. Of these, 164 tested negative for TB, while 45 residents could have latent TB. Two residents of the block could have active TB, MOH said in early July, and authorities said the cases were being followed up on for treatment, monitoring and contact tracing.