Free TB Screening For Jalan Bukit Merah Residents After 7 Cases Emerge
From the global Covid-19 pandemic to the recent Monkeypox outbreak, we’ve been on high alert when it comes to health risks. Proving their efficiency in such matters, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is swinging into action after seven Tuberculosis (TB) cases emerged at an HDB block in Bukit Merah.
Hoping to detect and manage cases early, they’re offering free screening to current and former residents there.
MOH identifies TB cluster at Jalan Bukit Merah
In a press release today (21 May), MOH revealed that they had been alerted to seven TB cases involving Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah residents on 2 Mar.
The residents in question received their diagnosis between Feb 2021 and Mar 2022. All seven lived in different units in the same block.
Of the seven individuals, MOH updated their latest situation as follows:
- Two have completed treatment
- Three are currently undergoing treatment
- Two passed away from other causes
Explaining that the risk of infection declines as treatment continues, MOH assures that the surviving cases do not pose any public health risks.
They have also since identified the cases’ close contacts and found that none of the seven was each other’s close contacts.
The individuals apparently didn’t know or interact with each other, nor gathered in the same places. Considering these circumstances, MOH is thus offering free screening as a precaution.
Free screening for current & former residents
From 27 to 31 May 2022, MOH is offering the screening to former and current residents, as well as stallholders, shop owners, and employees at Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah.
For residents, mobile teams will be conducting the screening at their homes. Everyone else may head over to the Queenstown Hock San Zone Residents’ Committee (RC) Centre at Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.
MOH will be contacting former residents who lived in the block from Oct 2020 sometime in Jun for their voluntary screening at the TB Control Unit (TBCU). This group of people may also call the TBCU hotline at 6258 4430 to make an appointment.
Screening is not compulsory but MOH strongly encourages the various groups to participate to determine if they have the disease or infection.
Individuals with TB disease will receive treatment immediately, while those with TB infection will get appointments at the TBCU along with treatment offers.
Watch out for TB symptoms
According to MOH, TB disease symptoms include:
- Persistent cough lasting three weeks or longer
- Low-grade fever
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Chest pain
Transmissions usually occur via close and prolonged contact with an infectious individual. TB is reportedly endemic in Singapore, is curable, and its spread preventable.
Hope MOH can curb the spread
Knowing that a disease may be going around is certainly concerning, especially looking at the symptoms individuals may suffer.
We’re glad that MOH is taking quick action to prevent the spread of TB in the larger community.
Let’s hope that their efforts prove fruitful. We also wish the patients a smooth recovery.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps.
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