Residents & workers at Blk 2 Jalan Bukit Merah must undergo Tuberculosis screening after 170 positive cases confirmed

The screening station will be located at the Queenstown Hock San Zone Residents’ Committee (RC) Centre at Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.

Andrew Koay | June 25, 2022, 12:07 PM

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All individuals living and working at Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah are now required to undergo screening for Tuberculosis (TB) if they have not done so already, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This comes after about 170 people in the block tested positive for TB in previous screenings.

One other case has been genetically linked to the Jalan Bukit Merah cluster; contact investigations are ongoing.

Further tests are required to determine if those who have tested positive have a TB infection or active TB disease.

Those with active TB disease will be treated while those with latent TB infection will be given appointments for follow-up at the TB Control Unit and offered treatment if suitable.

Free testing extended to Jun. 25

MOH said in a news release that it would extend its TB screenings to Jun. 25, 2022.

"The extended screening exercise and further tests will be conducted free of charge. All persons living or working at the block who have not been screened for tuberculosis are required to participate in the extended screening exercise," wrote MOH.

"The screening is mandatory under the Infectious Diseases Act."

The screening station will be located at the Queenstown Hock San Zone Residents’ Committee (RC) Centre at Block 3 Jalan Bukit Merah.

Residents who are unavailable to attend the screening by Jun. 25 can get tested at the designated SATA Clinic (Potong Pasir Medical Centre) before Aug. 5, 2022.

Individuals who have been recalled for further tests will also be required to complete these tests.

MOH said staff from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases had conducted visits to non-respondent units to engage and urge residents who had not been screened earlier to undergo screening.

574 out of 749 residents and workers have been tested

This follows an earlier round of voluntary TB screening for current and former residents, stallholders, shop owners, and employees from May 27 t0 31, 2022.

As of Jun. 23, 2022, 574 out of 749 residents and workers at Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah have been tested.

TB infection is different from TB disease.

One can be infected with TB germs for a long time without progressing to TB disease (which is when symptoms appear and the person becomes infectious).

Persons with TB infection do not experience symptoms of TB and are not infectious.

Symptoms of TB disease include:

  • persistent cough that lasts three weeks or longer
  • low-grade fever
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • chest pain

According to MOH, TB is typically spread through close and prolonged contact with an infectious individual.

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