Pupils at Romsey School to be tested after bus driver contracted life threatening tuberculosis

Hampshire school at centre of TB alert

Hampshire school at centre of TB alert

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A HAMPSHIRE school is at the centre of a tuberculosis alert after it was revealed their bus driver had contracted the life-threatening disease.

Students who have come into contact with the driver are now set to be tested to see if they have been infected.

GPs in Romsey have also been warned to watch out for signs of the disease when patients’ visit them with persistent coughs and other symptoms including coughing up blood, fever and night sweats.

A total of 71 pupils at Romsey School aged 11 to16 will now be tested for the disease.

A Public Health England spokesperson said: “The students were potentially exposed during the period that the driver was unaware of the TB infection or that this could be passed on to close contacts.

“There is no risk to any other students in the school or to those who used other buses.”

Daily Echo:

Officials have refused to reveal the driver’s name or the company he or she works for.

However, it has been confirmed that the driver hasn’t done the school run since the end of March.

“Students who use private hire coaches to travel to Romsey School daily and their parents are being informed and reassured that the risk of catching TB in this way is very low,” added the Public Health England spokesperson.

Screening won’t be carried out until later this month because Public Health England says testing for the infection too early would risk a false negative result.

Six weeks has to be allowed between the last exposure to being tested because the infection develops very slowly.

Romsey School headteacher Colm McKavanagh, below, said letters were issued to parents yesterday and a special questions and answers session with health officials was due to be held at the school this week in a bid to reassure pupils and their parents.

Daily Echo:

He said: “There is a very low risk and the screening is being done as a routine precaution.”

There are no plans at the moment to screen all the pupils at the school.

Dr Jim O’Brien, director of the Wessex Public Health England Centre, said: “TB is a preventable and treatable condition, but if left untreated it can be life-threatening.

“Efforts to control the spread of this infection must remain a public health priority.”

What is Tuberculosis?

TUBERCULOSIS is a deadly bacterial infection that often attacks the lungs but can affect other parts of the body.

It is spread through the air when infected people cough, sneeze, or otherwise release respiratory fluids into the air.

It is usually transmitted through close and prolonged contact with a person who has the infection or close contact with other family members.

Symptoms include chronic coughing, coughing up blood, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.

Since 1946 antibiotic treatments have been a successful cure for the disease although drug-resistant strains developed in the 1980s.

Vaccinations to prevent TB are no longer routinely given to school pupils and during the last few years there has been an upsurge in the disease across the UK.

In the Test Valley area the number of cases has fallen from five in 2011 to one in 2012. The number of confirmed TB cases in other parts of Hampshire has also gone down.

In Southampton 39 cases were confirmed in 2012 compared with 51 in 2011. Winchester has also seen a decline in cases with one in 2012 compared with four in 2011. In the New Forest district there were six cases in 2011 and two in 2012.

Case numbers remain unchanged in the Eastleigh area with four recorded in 2011 and the same number in 2012.

Comments (21)

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8:01am Thu 1 May 14

sapenny says...

Are you sure this isnt a bogus report like the Winchester nursery and botulism report yesterday?
Are you sure this isnt a bogus report like the Winchester nursery and botulism report yesterday? sapenny
  • Score: -10

8:11am Thu 1 May 14

Hastagger says...

sapenny wrote:
Are you sure this isnt a bogus report like the Winchester nursery and botulism report yesterday?
No, its true, apparently the driver had just done a drop off in Portsmouth and contracted it there! send him back #jobdone.
[quote][p][bold]sapenny[/bold] wrote: Are you sure this isnt a bogus report like the Winchester nursery and botulism report yesterday?[/p][/quote]No, its true, apparently the driver had just done a drop off in Portsmouth and contracted it there! send him back #jobdone. Hastagger
  • Score: -7

9:27am Thu 1 May 14

Vix1 says...

It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?
It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware? Vix1
  • Score: 8

11:02am Thu 1 May 14

Hastagger says...

Vix1 wrote:
It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?
why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup
[quote][p][bold]Vix1[/bold] wrote: It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?[/p][/quote]why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup Hastagger
  • Score: -7

11:25am Thu 1 May 14

bluecougar says...

I have to use the local bus service as well and I see many children from the same school on the bus - there are quite a few elderly people that use it as well, shouldn't we all be told???
I have to use the local bus service as well and I see many children from the same school on the bus - there are quite a few elderly people that use it as well, shouldn't we all be told??? bluecougar
  • Score: -1

11:29am Thu 1 May 14

garagegarage says...

come on tell us what company....
come on tell us what company.... garagegarage
  • Score: 2

11:41am Thu 1 May 14

bucktoom says...

My child is one of the ones who uses the bus that the affected driver was driving and now has to be screened. It's a private bus (that costs me a small fortune) and so other people won't be affected.
So calm down
My child is one of the ones who uses the bus that the affected driver was driving and now has to be screened. It's a private bus (that costs me a small fortune) and so other people won't be affected. So calm down bucktoom
  • Score: 7

12:25pm Thu 1 May 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Hastagger wrote:
Vix1 wrote:
It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?
why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup
This is not Twitter.
[quote][p][bold]Hastagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Vix1[/bold] wrote: It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?[/p][/quote]why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup[/p][/quote]This is not Twitter. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 10

2:23pm Thu 1 May 14

rossi80 says...

Does it matter what company it is? Its one driver in the company not all of them!
Does it matter what company it is? Its one driver in the company not all of them! rossi80
  • Score: 6

2:40pm Thu 1 May 14

Mary80 says...

The question is why was the driver even AT work if he was ill, i mean common sense would say your around kids and ill so don't go to work
The question is why was the driver even AT work if he was ill, i mean common sense would say your around kids and ill so don't go to work Mary80
  • Score: -4

3:08pm Thu 1 May 14

rossi80 says...

It says the driver hasn't been working since march so he clearly stopped working when he found out. You're not going to stop working if you think you just have a cough are you? Lets just hope none of the kids have got it and the driver makes a speedy recovery!
It says the driver hasn't been working since march so he clearly stopped working when he found out. You're not going to stop working if you think you just have a cough are you? Lets just hope none of the kids have got it and the driver makes a speedy recovery! rossi80
  • Score: 13

3:33pm Thu 1 May 14

vpharm says...

The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common!
I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital!
They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying!
The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common! I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital! They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying! vpharm
  • Score: 8

5:54pm Thu 1 May 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

vpharm wrote:
The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common!
I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital!
They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying!
I would have thought that, if you were in a position to provide hospital treatment to people with TB, you would be expected to abide by professional or ethical codes to prevent you making the inflammatory remarks you just have.
[quote][p][bold]vpharm[/bold] wrote: The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common! I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital! They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying![/p][/quote]I would have thought that, if you were in a position to provide hospital treatment to people with TB, you would be expected to abide by professional or ethical codes to prevent you making the inflammatory remarks you just have. FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 3

6:08pm Thu 1 May 14

bucktoom says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
vpharm wrote:
The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common!
I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital!
They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying!
I would have thought that, if you were in a position to provide hospital treatment to people with TB, you would be expected to abide by professional or ethical codes to prevent you making the inflammatory remarks you just have.
Thank you for saying that FoysCorner- was thinking the same thing.
Interestingly, the original poster claims to have treated someone with TB but seems to lack any knowledge on the subject. It's not just immigrants who have TB!
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]vpharm[/bold] wrote: The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common! I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital! They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying![/p][/quote]I would have thought that, if you were in a position to provide hospital treatment to people with TB, you would be expected to abide by professional or ethical codes to prevent you making the inflammatory remarks you just have.[/p][/quote]Thank you for saying that FoysCorner- was thinking the same thing. Interestingly, the original poster claims to have treated someone with TB but seems to lack any knowledge on the subject. It's not just immigrants who have TB! bucktoom
  • Score: 4

6:16pm Thu 1 May 14

sheilah says...

If the government hadn't stopped the TB vaccination for our children we wouldn't be in this situation, foreign visitors to our country can get it but our children cant where's the logic in that ???
If the government hadn't stopped the TB vaccination for our children we wouldn't be in this situation, foreign visitors to our country can get it but our children cant where's the logic in that ??? sheilah
  • Score: 4

6:25pm Thu 1 May 14

klm1970 says...

I understand the school priorising the pupils who have actually used the bus service.

However, as a parent with a child at this school, notification from the school that this had happened should have been sent to ALL parents whose children attend.

Children, by their very nature mix with other childrenso there is a possibility that others may be at risk, even if the risk is 'low''.

I would rather find out from the school than from social media sites!

I for one will be keeping an even closer ey on my child over the coming weeks, despite him not using any of the bus services.
I understand the school priorising the pupils who have actually used the bus service. However, as a parent with a child at this school, notification from the school that this had happened should have been sent to ALL parents whose children attend. Children, by their very nature mix with other childrenso there is a possibility that others may be at risk, even if the risk is 'low''. I would rather find out from the school than from social media sites! I for one will be keeping an even closer ey on my child over the coming weeks, despite him not using any of the bus services. klm1970
  • Score: -6

8:15pm Thu 1 May 14

eurogordi says...

TB "is spread through the air when infected people cough, sneeze, or otherwise release respiratory fluids into the air."

Based on this, shouldn't everyone who has come into contact with the driver be tested?

"Symptoms include chronic coughing, coughing up blood, fever, night sweats, and weight loss."

With the exception of weight loss, I have had a chronic persistent cough for several years accompanied by the other symptoms at time.

According to my GP there is nothing wrong with me!
TB "is spread through the air when infected people cough, sneeze, or otherwise release respiratory fluids into the air." Based on this, shouldn't everyone who has come into contact with the driver be tested? "Symptoms include chronic coughing, coughing up blood, fever, night sweats, and weight loss." With the exception of weight loss, I have had a chronic persistent cough for several years accompanied by the other symptoms at time. According to my GP there is nothing wrong with me! eurogordi
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Thu 1 May 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

vpharm wrote:
The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common!
I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital!
They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying!
Never mind masks! Sorry, I can't stop using exclamation marks, I must have caught it from you! Why don't we just make all immigrants wear an insignia of some kind - maybe a yellow star or something!?!

Alternatively, why don't you grow up and stop making deliberately inflammatory remarks based on an entirely fictional scenario which you've dredged up from the inner recesses of what passes for your mind.
[quote][p][bold]vpharm[/bold] wrote: The problem is that people from abroad are allowed into to UK without any screening of TB even if they are from countries where TB is very common! I know this because a few years ago I had to treat a family of illegal immigrants who the authorities just sent to the hospital! They were not forced to wear masks which is worrying![/p][/quote]Never mind masks! Sorry, I can't stop using exclamation marks, I must have caught it from you! Why don't we just make all immigrants wear an insignia of some kind - maybe a yellow star or something!?! Alternatively, why don't you grow up and stop making deliberately inflammatory remarks based on an entirely fictional scenario which you've dredged up from the inner recesses of what passes for your mind. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 5

10:21pm Thu 1 May 14

pitman_hitman says...

Hastagger wrote:
Vix1 wrote:
It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?
why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup
Wheelers.
[quote][p][bold]Hastagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Vix1[/bold] wrote: It is genuine, as my daughter attends the school. Thankfully she doesn't get that particular bus. I don't know why they won't reveal the company name as everyone sees the bus company going to and from Romsey school and the Mountbatten school!! Plus the fact they do a normal bus service too so shouldn't they make the public aware?[/p][/quote]why don't you tell us then!? #right2know #publicservice #coverup[/p][/quote]Wheelers. pitman_hitman
  • Score: -4

11:36pm Thu 1 May 14

wwozzer says...

A load of panic over nothing....... and nobody seems to give a sh1t about the driver! Hope he makes a speedy recovery.
A load of panic over nothing....... and nobody seems to give a sh1t about the driver! Hope he makes a speedy recovery. wwozzer
  • Score: 3

6:51am Fri 2 May 14

Vix1 says...

klm1970 wrote:
I understand the school priorising the pupils who have actually used the bus service.

However, as a parent with a child at this school, notification from the school that this had happened should have been sent to ALL parents whose children attend.

Children, by their very nature mix with other childrenso there is a possibility that others may be at risk, even if the risk is 'low''.

I would rather find out from the school than from social media sites!

I for one will be keeping an even closer ey on my child over the coming weeks, despite him not using any of the bus services.
We were all told via parentmail before it appeared in the Echo. It was a copy of the letter that the children came home with on Thursday.
[quote][p][bold]klm1970[/bold] wrote: I understand the school priorising the pupils who have actually used the bus service. However, as a parent with a child at this school, notification from the school that this had happened should have been sent to ALL parents whose children attend. Children, by their very nature mix with other childrenso there is a possibility that others may be at risk, even if the risk is 'low''. I would rather find out from the school than from social media sites! I for one will be keeping an even closer ey on my child over the coming weeks, despite him not using any of the bus services.[/p][/quote]We were all told via parentmail before it appeared in the Echo. It was a copy of the letter that the children came home with on Thursday. Vix1
  • Score: 3

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