Up to 300 students and five faculty members at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John will be tested for Tuberculosis (TB) after a classmate tested positive for the airborne disease.
Public health officials notified the university on Monday morning that a student had tested positive for the infection, reports the Telegraph-Journal. The university notified the public Tuesday.
Kevin Bonner, director of student services, told the paper that skin tests will be available in the university’s gymnasium on Friday. Results are often available in just a few days.
Health Canada reports that TB, although serious, is not very contagious. “A person usually has to have frequent exposure to someone with active TB,” says its website. “For example, spending several hours a day with a person with active TB could put you at risk of infection.”
There are approximately 1,600 new cases of TB reported in Canada every year. Health Canada says it usually attacks the lungs, but can also impact the lymph nodes, kidneys, urinary tract and bones. It is easily cured with antibiotics, but still kills almost two million people worldwide each year.