The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is managing an outbreak of four cases of tuberculosis in Thunder Bay. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is treated with antibiotics.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Image/CDC

“Tuberculosis is not very contagious and requires prolonged contact with someone who is sick to be at risk of acquiring the disease,” says Dr. Emily Groot, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “People with weakened immune systems or poor nutritional status are more likely to get infected with tuberculosis than other people.”

Most cases identified to date have occurred in individuals who lack adequate housing. The risk to the general public is extremely low, and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is continuing to investigate. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is identifying and will contact people who may have been exposed to tuberculosis. Additional cases may be identified during this process.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include a new cough, coughing up bloody sputum, chest pain, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical care.