Tuberculosis outbreak in 2 northern Saskatchewan communities

Officials declared another northern Saskatchewan tuberculosis outbreak and one doctor says the provincial and federal government need to work together towards solutions. HO, CDC - Janice Carr / The Canadian Press

The Athabasca Health Authority (AHA) says a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak has been officially declared on Friday in two northern Saskatchewan communities.

Executive director of primary health care Taiwo Olubanwo said in Black Lake and Fond Du Lac there are no fewer than seven and six index cases, respectively.

Read more: TB cases on the rise in Saskatchewan in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

“We recently flagged a presumptive TB outbreak in some of our communities … evidence suggests an increased incidence rate in both (Fond Du Lac) and Black Lake with evidence of community transmission,” read a AHA situation report.

“Although we’ve continued to manage the crisis, an improved management approach is being developed where cases are more closely monitored with updated situation/management reports shared regularly.”

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AHA noted that close monitoring with necessary supports will help prevent a possible poorer treatment outcome which may be characterized with TB patients who may test positive for COVID-19.

“Given that the COVID-19 crisis is ongoing around the world with its effect much felt in certain underserved areas, TB crisis management may potentially suffer some setbacks if not given the needed attention,” read the report.

“In the far north-central zone of Saskatchewan currently covered by the AHA, we’ve recently identified a heightened TB crisis which we’ve continued to manage in collaboration with our partners/agencies over time.”

The report said AHA is creating a TB/COVID-19 Hotline primarily for clients support.

Click to play video: 'More COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan care homes'
More COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan care homes

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