Public health officials in Quebec, Canada are looking for passengers who traveled from Montreal to Toronto by Megabus in August 2015. The passengers will be tested for any potential signs of tuberculosis, because there is a report that a person with the infectious lung disease is on the same bus.
So far, the province's Ministry of Health and Social Services has managed to contact most of the passengers from the affected Megabus units, but there are still many others who need to be contacted.
"It is strongly recommended that all passengers of this bus undergo testing for tuberculosis," the ministry said. Even if passengers are not displaying any symptoms, officials said it is still advisable for them to undergo screening.
The bus ride to Toronto and the bus ride that returned the tuberculosis patient to Montreal both stopped over Kingston, Ontario. Passengers who were on the following journeys are being sought:
Megabus #771, which departed on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.
- Montreal to Kingston trip, with the departure time of 4:30 p.m.
- Kingston to Toronto trip, with the departure time of 7:35 p.m. and the arrival time of 10:15 p.m.
Megabus #718, which departed on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015
- Toronto to Kingston trip, with the departure time of 1:30 p.m.
- Kingston to Montreal trip, with the departure time of 4:20 p.m. and the arrival time of 7:15 p.m.
Residents in Quebec are urged to call 811, while those who are outside the province can call toll-free 1-844-817-0200. Public health officials will conduct a screening. Treatment will be recommended if necessary.
People who are infected with TB often do not show symptoms, but they can spread the infection by coughing or other means. The infectious disease can lie dormant for years in some people until the symptoms manifest. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
Statistics show that about 1,600 people in Canada develop TB every year. In 2010, approximately 1.4 million deaths related to TB were recorded worldwide.
The rate of TB in Canada is considered as the lowest around the world, experts said. Despite this low incidence, however, certain populations in the country are disproportionately affected.
Photo : Haydn Blackey | Flickr