Four cafeteria workers at York University’s Glendon College campus in Toronto have been infected with tuberculosis.
The Toronto Public Health began testing food court staff this week after one worker was diagnosed, reports the Toronto Star. As of August 21, three more were found with the disease.
But these three are not sick with tuberculosis, instead, “They just have the germ in their body from an exposure at some time in their life,” said Julia Lechner of Toronto Public Health.
It’s not yet clear whether these three contracted the disease from the co-worker that does have the disease.
Those who tested positive won’t take leave from work, since they’re not contagious, and are taking antibiotics. 20 food court employees are being tested.
All four of the employees involved are from outside Canada.
Dr. Monica Gau of Toronto Public Health told the Star that the risk of contraction is low, especially for students.
“In tuberculosis you really need close and prolonged contact to be infected,” she said. “A brief encounter would not, in this case, require any screening.”
Tuberculosis spreads through the air from one person to the other when a person with the disease coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. The disease doesn’t spread through touch.
Glendon College is a satellite campus of York University, and is located in Toronto, Ontario.