Territory Stories

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin



The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin

Other title

Disease Control Bulletin


Territory Health Services, Centre for Disease Control


Northern Territory disease control bulletin; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Northern Territory disease control bulletin






Date:2002-03; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Communicable diseases; Reporting; Northern Territory; Statistics; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory disease control bulletin


v. 9 no. 1

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin Vol 9, No.1, March 2002 4 future by eliminating the infection now. A total of 522 Mantoux tests were done during this period. As other screenings were required the health clinic and CDC staff worked well to combine the Mantoux testing of 118 under 5 year olds with Growth, Assessment Action (GAA) screening, and 196 of 5-15 year olds with school screening. Also included were the testing of 208 TB contacts, 30 of whom were under 15 years. A total of 16 children under 15 years were Mantoux positive. From January, opportunistic CXRs were arranged for any residents admitted to the regional hospital for any reason and students away at school (eg in Katherine, Darwin or Alice Springs) had screening arrangements made. The TB community CXRs and clinical screening took place over a 2 week period starting at the end of February. The NTs TB Control mobile X-ray unit was used and a radiographer from Darwin spent 2 weeks providing CXRs in the community. The clinic health staff continued with the daily running of the clinic (including administering directly observed treatment (DOT) to the already identified TB cases and LTBI treatment to the Mantoux positive contacts) and smoothed the way for TB screening, assisting whenever possible and providing the local liaison. Additionally there were 4 CDC staff, including 2 CDC TB nurses, one from Katherine and one from Darwin and 2 TB doctors, one from Darwin (for the first week) and one from Katherine for the 2 weeks. Importantly there was a local driver, known to and accepted by the community who was invaluable in getting people up to the clinic. During the 2 week community TB screening: 453 CXRs were done; this included 16 in children under 15 years who had a positive Mantoux and hence a CXR, with the balance being in adults. Of the community population of approximately 1100, those over 15 years of age were estimated to be 572; giving an adult coverage of 76.4%. Including opportunistic CXRs/screening in the regional hospital (15) and the CXRs done after the first contact tracing (18), a total of 470 adults have had CXRs (82.2%). 53 Mantoux tests were given in addition to those given during the preparatory 2 weeks, to previously missed children (4) or newly identified close contacts (49). 16 CXR were taken of Mantoux positive children; the population of children under 15 years old was estimated to be 440 and a total of 350 received the recommended screening ie a Mantoux test (79.5%) of which 16 (4.5%) were Mantoux positive. 57 individuals had sputum collected for mycobacteriology (AFB smear and culture) either as spot sputums or x 3 for questionable CXRs and/or persistent cough (no CXRs taken were suggestive of cavitary TB). 21 Mantoux positive children and 34 Mantoux positive adults who were identified as contacts had TB disease ruled out and were recommended to start LTBI treatment. 2 Mantoux positive children with questionable CXRs and/or clinical reviews were referred for gastric aspirates. 3 individuals (1 child and 2 adults) were referred for further work up for lymph node enlargement to rule out nodal TB. TB awareness in the community is continuing, with ongoing requests for TB screening since CDCs departure. In addition: 35 Pneumococcal vaccines were given (the community had undertaken a vaccine program in 2001 to increase coverage and also to address the new eligible population ie. all 15 to 49 year old Aboriginal people. These 35 represent missed individuals mainly in the 15 to 49 year old category. 36 Influenza vaccines for the 2002 flu season were given (again the community had identified and covered most eligible clients prior to this time). 5 individuals with probable rheumatic heart disease (RHD) or cardiomyopathy were found and referred. They had markedly enlarged cardiac shadows on CXRs with significant murmurs on clinical review, no previous cardiac history and were aged 5 to 37 years old. A number of people were identified as requiring a DMO review for, eg. blood pressure control, rheumatic heart disease management and asthma reviews. Also womens health referrals were confirmed and dental (2) and orthopaedic (1) referrals were made. Because of the excellent community and clinic staff support, it was an ideal opportunity to review people who very rarely access the clinic, in particular the younger men of the community.