Health officials in Manitoba are facing public ire for not acting quickly to curb the tuberculosis outbreak that has occurred in northern Manitoba First Nations communities. It is reported that at least 19 people have been diagnosed with the condition in and around the Garden Hill reserve.
Jack Harper, a resident of Garden Hill told CBC News that he became aware that his wife had the condition only after he took her to the doctor, "I took her to the nursing station so many times and she was told, 'Just take Tylenol to cure the flu you have,'" he said. The infection is contagious and can spread with close contact. Garden Hill Chief David Harper said many residents were living in Third World countries and hence were at risk of developing the infection. "In order to prevent a further outbreak, First Nation members were advised to wash their hands after each cough and sneeze. However, the majority of homes in Garden Hill don't have running water," said the chief. He has called on Health Canada to provide more nurses and a permanent resident doctor in Manitoba so that diseases are diagnosed and treated quickly.