January 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 59  

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UNB rez checks for TB

By Allison Buchan-Terrell
Gazette Staff

A student at the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick is spending the next two weeks in isolation with a suspected case of tuberculosis.

The male student was put into isolation after public health officials were alerted of the situation, and will remain there until he is “deemed not infectious,” the university said in a press release. Precautionary measures are now being taken to ensure anyone who was in contact with the quarantined student does not have TB, especially those who were living with him in the student residence.

Michel Ouellette, director of residence life at UNB, stressed the case of TB is not yet confirmed. “[The] student in question is in isolation for two weeks,” he noted, adding this is the first time TB has appeared in the residences at UNB, but communicable diseases are a natural occurrence in the residence environment.

The students that live on his hallway met with residence administration and were notified there was a case of suspected TB and the student had been tested, Ouellette explained, adding the students were more concerned with the health of the student in question rather than their own safety.

“The key is to find the case and treat the case,” said Scott Giffin, medical health officer for New Brunswick’s Wellness and Health Department. “There is hope for this case because it was identified early.”

The number of students being tested is yet to be determined, but consists mostly of students who came in close contact with the suspected sick student, he said, adding the name of the residence affected will not be made public as to protect the students involved. Passing through the residence will not lead to other students contracting TB, Giffin said.

Susan Grindrod, Western’s associate vice president of housing and ancillary services, said if there was a suspected case of TB in a residence at Western, housing would defer to medical authorities who would direct administration as to what precautions to take.



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