JOHOR BARU, Dec 7 ― The state’s health authorities confirmed they will initiate screening procedures following reports that two Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) undergraduates had recently contracted tuberculosis (TB).
It was learnt that the two victims are in their 20s and that classes for the university are still on-going for the semester.
Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said following the report, the Johor Baru and Kulai health departments’ public health units are carrying out an investigation.
“I can confirm that two UTM undergraduates are suspected to have contracted TB and the health authorities have also identified the areas to conduct the standard screening procedures such as classes and hostels,” he said in a statement today.
Ayub said the screening will involve the classes that the two students were in, as well as Kolej Tun Fatimah and Kolej Perdana hostels located in the UTM campus premises.
“The screening procedure will be carried out next week and the state health authorities are still in the midst of a discussion with the university’s management on the matter,” he said, adding that he has yet to be briefed on the total number of students that will be involved in the screening exercise.
Meanwhile, a check with UTM’s administration revealed that the university’s management has only been told to prepare for a screening exercise.
“For the time being we can’t confirm the case and will only issue a media statement tomorrow after deliberation with the health authorities,” said a UTM spokesman.
TB is an infectious disease that mostly affects the lungs but may impact other parts of the body as well.
A contagious disease, TB can easily spread through air. It is now the world’s deadliest infectious disease, causing more annual deaths than HIV.