Tuberculosis bacterium (icon image)
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There has been an outbreak of tuberculosis in a nursing school and a nursing home in Chemnitz.
The disease was diagnosed in a nursing student in January.
So far, a total of 75 contact persons of the student in the city have been examined, the city administration said on Thursday.
Tuberculosis infections were found in a third.
Not every infection leads to illness.
However, the disease also broke out in a close contact of the sick nursing student.
It was a contagious pulmonary tuberculosis that had to be treated, it said.
Notifiable infectious disease
That's why the health department is now looking for other contacts.
The nursing school and another nursing home are also affected.
According to the authorities, two other suspected cases of tuberculosis were also found in the previous investigations.
Here the diagnostics are running in the hospital, so that no precise statement on the degree of possible contagion is possible.
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Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and must be reported.
The pathogens are mainly excreted through coughing and sneezing and spread through aerosols in the air.
Whether there is an infection depends, among other things, on how long and intensive the contact with the sick was and how susceptible the person is to an infection, according to the Federal Center for Health Education.
The disease can also break out years after an infection.
In most cases, the infected carry the pathogen without feeling any symptoms.
Signs are cough, which can also be bloody as the disease progresses, fatigue and fever.
Tuberculosis, also known as "consumption" in the past, can be cured with antibiotic treatment lasting several months.
However, the pathogens are developing more and more resistance to common antibiotics.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of new cases in Germany has fallen in recent years.
In 2021 there were almost 3900. However, the number of tuberculosis cases has recently increased worldwide.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 10.6 million people contracted tuberculosis in 2021 – around 4.5 percent more than in 2020. Around 1.6 million people died from the lung disease.