UNB rez checks for TB
By Allison Buchan-Terrell
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.