False rumours of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak at the Highland Park Community House (HPCH) have been shut down.
Auckland Council and the chair for the HPCH board say there has been not been an outbreak of TB at the centre and the community has no reason to be concerned.
Staff at the HPCH became aware that a Chinese national infected with TB had visited the facility in early September.
Public Health Auckland was contacted immediately and those who came in contact with the individual underwent blood tests, all of which came back negative.
“It was most definitely not an outbreak, it was an isolated incident. All blood tests returned a negative result,” says Chris Keeling board chair for Howick and Pakuranga Community Houses Inc.
Keeling says the incident was managed well and quickly under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.
“The Public Health Medical Officer and Public Health Nurse recommended blood tests although they indicated there would be no concern,” she says.
“We supported the recommendation of blood tests as a board responsible for the wellbeing of our staff and the community.
“There was never any underlying fear that these would come back positive.”
Keeling says the tests were simply a precautionary measure.
“We stringently followed Public Health recommendations. As predicted, the outcome eased all immediate community concerns,” she says.
Auckland Council manager of community places Kevin Marriott has also denied the rumours of a TB outbreak.
“From our conversations with the [Ministry of Health], we have no reason to believe that any other visitors to the facility risk infection,” he says.
“As the ministry is leading the response to what appears to be an isolated case, anyone with further concerns should approach a health professional.”