Public advised to not panic over TB scare, seek immediate treatment if symptoms appear

Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING, Feb 28: The public have been urged not to panic over the two recent tuberculosis (TB) cases involving the staff of a supermarket in Matang.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the two patients have been diagnosed and begun treatment.

He added that the latest sputum smears have been negative, meaning the disease is less infectious.

“Their households, family, social and workplace contacts have been asked to go to our clinic for contact screening,” Dr Sim said in a statement.

Dr Sim was responding to a message which had gone viral on social media, advising the public to wear masks when visiting the said supermarket.

The message also stated that all staff or workers there were ordered to go TB screening at the Petra Jaya Health Clinic between Monday and Friday this week.

Meanwhile, a check by DayakDaily at the said supermarket this afternoon revealed that business was being carried out as usual among staff.

A few workers were spotted wearing masks and one of the employees, when approached, said she was advised by a friend to wear the mask because they were worried she had a poor immune system.

Other staff who were approached also said they heard of the incident but did not see any notice from the Health Department.

State Health Director Dr Jamilah Hashim in a statement earlier tonight confirmed the two TB cases. The first case was detected on January 10, while the second was detected on February 4.

She cautioned the public that TB could be spread through air when a patient coughs or sneezes.

Individuals who exhibit symptoms of TB such as coughing non-stop for two weeks or more, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, cold sweats and bloody phlegm should visit the nearest health centre or clinic for early TB testing.

TB can be detected through phlegm tests and X-Ray tests. Patients normally will recover fully after continuous treatment for six months. — DayakDaily