Headmaster Simon Corns urged parents to take their children to the city’s Disease Prevention and Screening Centre at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. According to a report in The National, the headmaster's letter informed parents that ‘a member of the school community…with a suspected case’ of the highly infectious lung disease was currently receiving medical treatment. He said ‘there was no risk to the community at present’.
In a further statement to the newspaper Bloom Education, the school’s operator, said that ‘a standard tuberculosis test was conducted on a member of staff from the school. The initial result was inconclusive but has since been proved negative’.
According to The National report, it is believed that the letter was sent to the parents of a limited group of pupils who will need to be screened for precautionary reasons.
He said Department of Health Abu Dhabi was liaising with the clinic and that there was "no risk to the community at present".
Tuberculosis is a potentially serious infectious disease that affects the lungs and is spread from one person to another, mainly through coughs and sneezes. While many people carry the infection harmlessly, the active disease can be fatal if untreated.
TB is the world's biggest infectious killer and is the ninth-leading cause of death across the globe, according to the World Health Organisation.
While rates of the disease are low in the UAE — roughly one in 100,000 people — authorities are trying to rid the country of TB entirely.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention launched a three month campaign last September to raise awareness about how TB is transmitted, prevented and how to effectively treat it.