Norway’s public health institute (Folkehelseinstituttet) reported Friday that 14 people have been infected by tuberculosis in Skien in Telemark, around a two-hour drive southwest of Oslo. The institute called the breakout of the disease “considerable.”
The new cases of infection come in addition to six people who were infected during the summer and later developed the disease.
All those now infected are immigrants in the city. While the disease has all but been wiped out in many countries and many Norwegians are vaccinated against tuberculosis (TB), there have been waves of TB within immigrant communities. Health officials said TB is especially prevalent in Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Around 50 people are believed to have come in contact with those who’ve fallen ill in Skien. That’s how health authorities found the 14 now testing positive to TB. They are undergoing treatment to prevent the disease from developing further.
All asylum seekers in Norway are tested for TB upon arrival, as are most immigrants. Health authorities stressed that residents of Skien have no reason to be worried. Those now testing positive are not contagious yet and those who have fallen ill are isolated and undergoing treatment.