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Infectious disease: Around 100 children from daycare centers are tested for tuberculosis
Open tuberculosis (TBC) was found in a young person in Waldsee in Rhineland-Palatinate. The teenager had contact with many other people during an internship in a daycare center. Around 100 children and around 50 adults are therefore being tested for the dangerous infectious disease.
Rising tuberculosis numbers in Germany
Although the number of tuberculosis cases worldwide has been declining for years, around 1.5 million people still die annually from the dangerous infectious disease. In Germany, after years of declining numbers, the number of cases of tuberculosis has recently increased, as an evaluation by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin showed.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, open TBC has now been found in a 17-year-old. Since the adolescent previously had contact with numerous people, around 150 children and adults now have to be tested for the contagious disease.
Infected teenagers could have infected many other people
About 100 children from a day care center in the Palatinate Forest Lake have to be examined for the disease after contact with a teenager suffering from tuberculosis, reports the news agency dpa. A spokeswoman for the administration of the Rhein-Pfalz-Kreis announced that around 50 supervisors, teachers and other young people who had contact with the young man should take a test.
According to the information, the investigations have already started. According to a report by the Südwestrundfunk (SWR), no infection has yet been demonstrated.
Isolated patient in hospital
In the adolescent affected, dangerous open tuberculosis was discovered in the day care center shortly after his two-week internship. According to a spokesman for the treating clinic in Ludwigshafen, the 17-year-old is doing well. The adolescent had to remain isolated in the hospital for around two weeks.
Transmission by droplet infection
Tuberculosis (TBC) is a bacterial infectious disease that particularly affects the lungs. It used to be referred to as “consumption”. Triggers are so-called "mycobacteria", which mainly affect the lungs and are transmitted especially when coughing, sneezing and speaking.
At the beginning of the disease, non-specific symptoms such as cough, night sweats and a slightly elevated temperature appear. The symptoms increase later and can include high fever, persistent cough with expectoration and shortness of breath. The disease can now be treated with antibiotics.
Years can pass from infection to onset
According to the agency report, 276 TBC cases were registered in Rhineland-Palatinate last year. Of these, 68 illnesses were found in asylum seekers, as a spokeswoman for the state investigation office said. The young man in Waldsee came to Germany as a refugee in December.
Although asylum seekers are routinely examined for tuberculosis after their arrival in Germany, the spokeswoman for the district administration said the 17-year-old may not have had their lungs x-rayed when they were admitted to Frankfurt.
The disease can be overlooked in examinations anyway, as it can take years from infection to the outbreak of TBC. As the RKI writes on its website, tuberculosis can still develop "decades after infection", especially if the immune system is weakened. (ad)