Claims TB outbreak in WA ‘mismanaged’

The North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS), which manages Osborne Park Hospital where the outbreak occurred, said today 110 staff were sent letters advising them that they may have been exposed to the disease "within days" of it being discovered that a former patient had been diagnosed with TB.

The letters encouraged staff to get tested and 100 staff did so, a NMHS spokeswoman said.

Of these, nine tested positive. However, it was a latent variety of the disease so most would not become ill, the spokeswoman said.

NMHS chief executive Dr David Russell-Weisz said the risk of transmitting the infection to others was low.

"TB is not highly contagious and is relatively difficult to contract," Dr Russell-Weisz said. "People who have been identified as contacts should not be alarmed."

He said efforts to determine who may have been in contact with the former patient had been successfully carried out.

The spokeswoman said the