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N Z Med J. 2000 Mar 10;113(1105):71-4.

A school and community outbreak of tuberculosis in Auckland.

Author information

Community Services, Auckland Healthcare.



To describe a school and community outbreak of tuberculosis in South Auckland in 1997/8.


Cases were diagnosed according to national guidelines at Middlemore, Green Lane and Starship Hospitals. Public health follow-up was conducted by Auckland Healthcare.


Twelve cases were diagnosed during the outbreak. Nine cases were from the same South Auckland secondary school; six reported no association outside school. Three cases were in younger children who had close household contact with two of the school cases. Nine cases (including eight from the school) had identical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates on restriction fragment length polymorphism testing. No microbiological culture was obtained from the three remaining cases. Contact investigation detected five of the cases. Chemoprophylaxis was prescribed for twenty-six school students, two adult staff, and nine household contacts.


This is the first published account of a tuberculosis outbreak in a New Zealand school setting for decades. Recognition of the outbreak was delayed. DNA fingerprinting played a valuable role in the investigation. The source case may have been a school student. The social impact of the outbreak and preventability with routine adolescent BCG vaccination are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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