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Nunavut declares tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung

·1 min read
Nunavut declared a tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung Thursday after it could no longer establish definitive links between a growing number of cases in the community. (Emily Ridlington/CBC - image credit)
Nunavut declared a tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung Thursday after it could no longer establish definitive links between a growing number of cases in the community. (Emily Ridlington/CBC - image credit)

Nunavut's chief public health officer declared a tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung Thursday.

The government of Nunavut said there is a growing number of cases in the community for which they can't establish how or where the cases were exposed.

Because of that, "enhanced public health follow-up of the situation is necessary," it said in a news release.

It said that until recently, health staff in the community of about 1,600 were able to establish links between all the cases and manage them with usual public health follow-ups. The government did not say how many cases had been detected.

The news release advised anyone in the community who has been exposed to a case to visit the health centre to get screened.

Symptoms include a cough that lasts longer than three weeks, feeling very tired, a loss of appetite, and a fever or experiencing night sweats.

"TB is a treatable disease with medications available within your community," reads the news release.

Tuberculosis has been a scourge in Nunavut for decades.

Hopes were high when the federal government announced in 2018 that it would eliminate TB in Inuit communities by 2030.

Two years later, rates of TB had barely changed and funding for the project had dried up.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further delayed efforts to eliminate the disease.

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