Residents Of Block 203 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 Receive Results Of On-Site Tuberculosis Screening

          Residents and former residents of Block 203 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 who were screened during the on-site Tuberculosis (TB) screening exercise from 16 to 19 June 2016 received their results progressively from 30 June. 

2.       223 residents and former residents were screened on-site from 16 to 19 Jun[1]. The results are as follows

(i) The majority (164) tested negative for TB and do not require follow-up action.

(ii) 45 residents may have Latent TB, which is likely caused by past exposure to the TB bacteria. These cases are not infectious. As it is not possible to determine the specific strains of latent TB, as a precaution, these residents have been advised to monitor themselves for any TB symptoms, and will be followed up by TBCU on a 6 monthly basis for the next 2 years. Treatment may be offered on a case by case basis after assessment by the Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU). To date, treatment has started for 4 individuals who were found to have Latent TB through the on-site screening exercise.

(iii) 3 residents had previously contracted TB earlier in life and had completed treatment.  Their abnormal chest x-ray results were likely a result of scarring from their previous infection and are not related to the unusual cluster of Multi-Drug Resistant TB.

(iv) 2 residents have chest x-ray results which suggest possible active TB disease. They are currently being followed up for treatment, monitoring and contact tracing. DNA fingerprinting analysis will be done to ascertain if they are related to the unusual cluster of MDRTB and this may take some time.

(v) 9 residents have only completed either a chest x-ray or blood test. We are following up with these residents to complete their screening.

3.        As Latent TB is prevalent in Singapore’s population, the baseline prevalence of Latent TB among residents in Block 203 (taking into consideration the demographic profile and other factors) is expected to be up to 23 per cent. The rate of Latent TB among those who were screened on-site (not including those screened on 2 July) is about 22 per cent, within the upper end of the expected baseline prevalence range. It should be noted that persons with Latent TB have no symptoms, do not feel sick and cannot spread TB to others. Most (about 90 per cent) will never develop active TB disease in their lifetime.  MOH and the TBCU will continue to monitor the situation.

4.        In addition, another 12 residents and former residents who were screened at other SATA clinics from 20 to 30 June will receive their results within 2 weeks of their screening date.

5.        Residents and former residents who lived in Block 203 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 from July 2011 may continue to make an appointment to be screened for free at the TB Control Unit. They may also choose to be screened at SATA clinics in Ang Mo Kio for free.

6.        MOH will continue to encourage residents and former residents who have not been screened to come forward for screening.  As part of continuing outreach efforts, MOH and TB Control Unit officers and nurses have worked with grassroots leaders to conduct a second round of visits to the residents on 2 July to encourage them to go for screening. To date, about 93 per cent of the households have been engaged. We will send another letter to residents who have not been screened, and will continue working with grassroots leaders to engage them.

7.        During the household visits conducted from 15 to 19 June, and on 2 July, MOH officers have checked with residents if any member of their household has been coughing for more than three weeks. To date, all residents who reported symptoms have been assessed by screening tests and TBCU to exclude TB.

8.         As part of our TB surveillance system, MOH has also alerted nearby General Practitioner (GP) clinics and Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic to look out for residents from Block 203 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 who present with symptoms of TB.

 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

4 JULY 2016

[1] This does not include those screened during house visits conducted by MOH and grassroots leaders on 2 July as the test results are not ready. 

 

 

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