Staff and residents at an Eastington care home have been diagnosed with latent tuberculosis.

Following a confirmed case of the disease at the Grange, TB screening has been carried out for all residents and staff identified as having the most prolonged contact with that person.

Following this screening a number of people tested positive for latent TB and screening is now being extended to additional staff.

Public Health England is working with the NHS, Gloucestershire County Council and the care home to treat the disease, spread through inhaling droplets from the coughs of an infected person

Dr Toyin Ejidokun, consultant in health protection for Public Health England South West said: “Latent TB is an inactive and non-infectious form of TB, meaning that people are carrying the bacteria without becoming ill or spreading it to others.

“All those who tested positive for latent TB will have a chest X-ray and be clinically assessed to determine whether they have active disease.

"We will be considering the need to treat latent disease with a course of antibiotics as a precautionary measure to clear the bacteria from their bodies and prevent them from developing active TB disease in future.

“As the first round of screening of residents and staff identified a higher than expected number of positive tests for latent TB we have advised that the screening is extended to additional staff in line with national guidance.

“Staff and family members of residents at the care home are being kept up-to-date with the situation, including a number of information sessions so that we can answer questions in person.

“It is important that everyone remains aware of the symptoms of TB which include a prolonged unexplained cough usually for three weeks or more, weight loss, fever, night sweats, tiredness, being unwell and coughing up blood, and that TB is a curable infection that can be treated effectively with antibiotics, particularly, if found early.”

For further information on TB click here.