06/24/2013 12:47 EDT | Updated 08/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Nunavik youth at risk of tuberculosis

Nunavik's acting director of public health says the territory needs to improve its ability to detect and treat tuberculosis.

This includes parents being able to recognize the first signs of infection.

Dr. Françoise Bouchard says among the 21 people now infected, the largest groups are those aged 15 to 34 and young children.

Bouchard says parents should know there is treatment available. She says tubercolosis is no longer the death sentence it might have been in previous generations.

"I don't think the message is to stop living. I think the message is very much, if you know someone, or if you have the symptoms yourself, do not hesitate to go and consult because as soon as we can treat you and look at the people around you and see if they've been infected, we can offer them something too."

Last week, the Nunavik board of health reported 21 cases, in Salluit, Kuujjuaq and Umiujaq.

Bouchard says it's quite likely that more cases will be detected in other communities.