The patient was diagnosed with active form of tuberculosis (TB) after being transferred to the infectious diseases unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary from Aberdeen's Woodend Hospital where he was originally admitted for treatment of an unspecified condition.
Following this warning letters, explaining the level of risk they may have of contracting the disease, have been sent to 500 patients and staff at Woodend and at the infectious diseases unit informing them that they might have to be screened for TB as a precautionary measure. All of the patients attended Woodend or Aberdeen Royal Infirmary between June and July this year.
While some of them have been told to visit their GP if they have any chest symptoms, those who had prolonged contact with the patient in June and July have been scheduled for chest x-rays within the next fortnight.
Dr. Maria Rossi, a consultant in public health medicine at NHS Grampian, said: "This is being done as a precautionary measure. Tuberculosis is present in our community but it is quite difficult to get infected with it. We have individually risk-assessed around 500 people and determined that some of them may need screening and chest X-rays at a certain point in time, but the vast majority are not going to require screening. In the NHS Grampian area there are only 20 to 25 cases each year."