Outbreak of TB drives Niue to screen entire population

Niue Hospital in Alofi, Niue. Picture: RNZ/Dr Penny McAllum

ALOFI, 06 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Niue will screen its entire population for tuberclulosis after two school children were diagnosed with the disease.

Dr Jason Tautasi from Niue Hospital says the first case was confirmed in September, and another – who was diagnosed last month – has had to be transferred to Auckland for treatment.

Since then, about 500 people have been screened, with 61 people testing positive for TB bacteria.

It has not been confirmed if they have the disease.

Dr Tautasi says Niue’s entire population of 1,600 will be screened.

“There is a lot of public concern and issues raised with the TB,” he said. “So we’ve done a lot of radio announcements on what TB is, some public awareness programmes.”

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