An outbreak of tuberculosis in the Saxon city of Chemnitz is spreading. A second case of tuberculosis was reported to the City Office for Health and Prevention in connection with a Chemnitz nursing student suffering from open pulmonary tuberculosis. The city wrote in a statement.

The second sick person is a close contact of the sick student. She had previously been admitted to a clinic with suspected tuberculosis. “According to the current state of knowledge, she also suffers from contagious pulmonary tuberculosis and must be treated.”

In the first case of tuberculosis in mid-January, 75 contact persons in Chemnitz were examined. So far, infections have been found in a third of them.

The health department is currently looking for other contact persons who were at risk of infection. The affected group of people should be examined. The nursing school and another nursing home are also being examined. “When evaluating the previous test results of the contact persons, two other suspected cases of tuberculosis were also identified, which were immediately admitted to a hospital for diagnostics,” the city said. Until the final diagnosis is made, “no binding statement” is possible on the degree of possible contagion.

The Office for Health and Prevention in Chemnitz initiates protective measures for all contact persons with positive or conspicuous findings who work in care until the possibility of contagion has been ruled out. These include temporary bans on entering or wearing a mask during work.

However, not every contact with tuberculosis leads to an infection, according to the city. Not every infection leads to disease. “For all people who tested positive, further outpatient diagnostics were initiated. People with findings suspicious of tuberculosis were admitted to the clinic. The four people who are currently in the hospital are students at the nursing school.” the

Tuberculosis is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. It is triggered by bacteria and is notifiable in Germany. Most of the time, you get infected through aerosols – tiny droplets – that are emitted when you cough or sneeze. Tuberculosis can be treated with medication.

According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around ten million people contract the disease every year – around 1.5 million people die from it. In poorer countries, tuberculosis is one of the most common fatal infectious diseases.

In Germany, the incidence rate is low. The Robert Koch Institute puts the number of tuberculosis cases for the year 2021 at around 3,900. In recent years, the number of cases has fallen.

Sources: City of Chemnitz, Robert Koch Institute