Hospital reports four patients with TB

Four people are in the Cayman Islands Hospital with tuberculosis, according to the Public Health Department. 

Department officials said initial indications are that the cases were all contracted overseas. 

The highly infectious disease spreads through airborne germs, attacking the lungs, and is characterized by a heavy cough. The Cayman Islands typically has three or four cases of TB per year, but the hospital reported seeing seven cases so far in 2015, public health officials say. 

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez told the Cayman Compass his department is still investigating the four cases, but he said the department “reasonably believes they’re imported.” 

He said the cases involve people from “several nationalities” but would not be more specific due to patient privacy. 

“TB germs become airborne when a person who has the disease in the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. People who have close contact for a prolonged period of time with an infectious patient (i.e. household members, co-workers in enclosed areas, etc.,) are at higher risk of contagion,” Dr. Williams-Rodriguez said in a press release issued by the Department of Public Health Thursday. The TB vaccine is given to children as part of standard vaccinations. Nurse Angela Graham, immunization manager for the department, said in the statement, “When given under one year, it provides protection for children against the most severe forms of TB.” 

The Public Health Department notice states, “Symptoms of tuberculosis include weakness, weight loss, night sweats, sneezing, a severe cough (usually for more than three weeks), spitting up phlegm and blood and a high fever for three or more days.” 

The department wants parents to check their children’s immunization records and make sure they received the vaccine.”  

Since 2010, the Public Health Department has confirmed 23 cases of TB in the Cayman Islands. 

Cayman Islands Hospital2-DB
Four people are currently being treated for TB at the Cayman Islands Hospital.


  1. I would say this is something we should expect because of population growth. In days gone by, this was not normally heard of, and if it was it was very rare and isolated.
    Was also made to understand that the illness which caused the West End Primary school to close was also imported illness.
    I sincerely believe the government need to look into returning residents and especially students.
    I really do not see anything wrong with returning students from overseas getting a check up before going back to school
    Also I think it is about time that medical reports are requested for three month temporary work permits. What is the use of waiting until the person is here for six months to do a medical, when the cow would have already gotten out the fence.

  2. One of the problems may be that immigration only require a chest x-ray not, as is mandated in many other places, the TB skin test. Based on reports in the UK the current outbreak of TB there has in part been caused by people with latent TB, which is not infectious, developing active TB, which is.

    I am old enough to remember when screening for TB was routine in the UK and also that the first stage in that process was always the skin test with the x-ray as a follow up if required.