Children to be screened for TB after case at Sydney childcare centre

Children at a Sydney childcare centre could have been exposed to tuberculosis after it was realised a staff member was working while infected with the disease.

“The risk of tuberculosis infection having spread to staff and children is low and treatments for TB are highly effective,” NSW Health’s communicable diseases expert Dr Vicky Sheppeard said.

Up to 92 children from 78 families and 15 staff will be screened at the Surry Hills centre on Wednesday afternoon.

Those exposed to the disease will have a skin test, a chest X-ray and a medical review arranged.

Specialist TB nurses will be available at the centre.

“TB usually affects the lungs,” Sheppeard said.

“Typically, it is spread through the air by coughing from people who have active tuberculosis. Fortunately, treatment for tuberculosis is highly effective.”

While the disease is common worldwide, it is not in Australia, with only about 1,200 cases diagnosed each year.