TB case in Saskatchewan leads to government action

The discovery of a case of active tuberculosis in a student at the University of Saskatchewan has raised awareness of the highly-contagious infection throughout the province and sparked government action.

Saskatchewan's Health Minister Dustin Duncan said that it is important that the public understands that not only has TB not been eradicated in the province, Saskatchewan has Canada's highest TB rates, according to the CBC.

The province confirms approximately 80 new TB cases every year, mostly in the north.

"Tuberculosis is still an issue that we need to be concerned about," Duncan said, the CBC reports. "I think for a lot of people, tuberculosis is something that was eradicated decades ago. That's not the case in Saskatchewan. It's not the case in Canada."

The minister announced that the government intends to launch a new five-year strategy to combat the illness beginning in 2013.

The diagnosed university student has been hospitalized. Dozens of University of Saskatchewan students, mostly those that shared classes with the infected student, went to a makeshift clinic held at the university's education department to be tested.

"I got an email and I showed up because the person had been in my classroom, so I wanted to keep myself safe and make sure I wasn't infected," student Cheyenne Jones said, the CBC reports.