Pangnirtung TB outbreak continues to grow

39 people tested positive for TB since January 2021, 167 with latent TB

A tuberculosis outbreak in Pangnirtung continues to grow. The outbreak was first declared in November 2021. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The tuberculosis outbreak declared in Pangnirtung in November 2021 continues to grow, according to numbers released Monday by Nunavut’s Department of Health.

According to the department, 39 people have tested positive for active TB in the community since January 2021, while another 167 have tested positive for latent TB.

Latent TB is a non-contagious form of the disease which can be treated before infection.

“Community members who have been exposed to an active TB case, or who have TB symptoms, should visit the health centre for screening,” a news release said.

A previous update from November 2022 said 37 people had tested positive for active TB and 147 tested positive for latent TB.

“TB is a treatable disease with medications available within your community,” the release said.

Tuberculosis rates are close to 300 times higher among Inuit than for the Canadian-born, non-Indigenous population.

Symptoms of TB include:

• A cough that lasts longer than three weeks
• Feeling very tired
• Loss of appetite
• A fever or night sweats

Anyone with these symptoms should visit their health centre as soon as possible for testing, the news release said.

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Last Century on

    This is preventable and treatable. Its a disease that should have been eradicated years ago, but the federal government and GN don’t seem to care enough. Just like with the RSV virus, until it hits the southern population little will be done.

  2. Posted by supuuqtuq on

    The TB cases will not go away as smokers who cannot afford cigarettes gather cigarette butts to get the tobacco. I know relatives who pick up butts off the ground. As recently as last Friday. This will keep going. GN need to do more to inform the public about TB. Not in ideal terms nor in translations. In plain language Inuktitut. I dread inviting my relatives over for something. They will pass on TB to my grandchildren or us who are immunocompromised.

  3. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    This is so pathetically ridiculous. It’s a pathogen that can be easily tested for and treated. Send in a swat team, test every man, woman and child, visit every infected person daily to make sure they take their medicine. This can be eradicated from the community!! Invest the money and the personnel to do it!! No more excuses!! We are a wealthy first world country for goodness sakes!! Inuit deserve better!!!

  4. Posted by mik on

    its quite sad really , 100% preventable. so whats the issue ? dont really understand how the Government let this happen.

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