08/14/2013 06:32 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Sask. uranium worker diagnosed with active TB; officials ramp up testing

SASKATOON - Health officials in Saskatchewan are increasing testing for tuberculosis after a worker at a uranium mine tested positive for the lung disease.

Saskatchewan TB Prevention and Control program officials say the person was working at a mine site operated by Cameco.

The Saskatoon Health Region -- which manages the provincial TB program -- did not say the gender of the person or age or where he or she worked.

It says the person was diagnosed last month and has been getting treatment.

The health region also says the TB program and Cameco have been working closely to identify employees who may have had close exposure in the workplace.

It says those employees are being notified and are being offered testing as well as access to supports.

The health region says the risk of TB transmission is considered low but depends on closeness and duration of contact with an active case.

People who breathe air containing the TB bacteria may become infected. People infected with TB bacteria don’t necessarily have active TB, but they do have a 10 per cent risk, over their lifetime, of becoming ill with TB.

Symptoms of active TB include cough, fever, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss.

Active TB disease is serious but usually curable with a standard six to nine month course of antibiotic drugs.