Watsons assistant found with TB

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2008, 12:00am

The Centre for Health Protection yesterday confirmed a tuberculosis case involving a female sales assistant who works for a branch of Watsons.

The woman, who began receiving tuberculosis medication on July 10, was transferred from North District Hospital to Princess Margaret Hospital on Saturday, a spokesman for the Health Department said.

The woman is a sales assistant for health-care products at a branch of the chain on the second floor of Ma On Shan Plaza.

The Centre for Health Protection had also already contacted Watsons to investigate the case. 'Watsons has also arranged more than 10 staff to have lung X-rays,' the department spokesman said.

'Patients with infectious tuberculosis whose work involves contact with a lot of people should not go to work until they are rendered non-infectious by medication, usually after two weeks of treatment.'

The department did not say whether it had contacted the woman's colleagues or people who had close contact with her.

The department said tuberculosis was a common disease in the city, with about 6,000 cases a year. It stressed that infection would only occur after prolonged contact with a tuberculosis patient.

Late last month health authorities in Britain and Hong Kong urgently sought people, including schoolchildren, who might have come into contact with a Tai Po primary school teacher with tuberculosis, who died.

Clare Lennon, 29, who also had another serious illness, died on April 24, a few days after flying home to England.