A NURSERY worker in North Lanarkshire has tested positive for tuberculosis.

The local health board confirmed that parents whose children attend the Firtrees nursery in Motherwell had been alerted after a member of staff was diagnosed with the infectious disease. Screening is being offered to colleagues who have been in close contact with the individual.

The patient is said to be well and responding to treatment.

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Dr Josephine Pravinkumar, consultant in public health for NHS Lanarkshire, said: "Tuberculosis (TB) is a relatively uncommon infection in Scotland and is not easily transmitted from person to person.

"It can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

"The risk of transmission of this infection to people who have been in contact with a case is low and the risk of people developing active TB disease is even lower.

"You can only catch TB from prolonged contact with someone who is coughing up TB germs although prolonged contact does not necessarily mean you will get TB."

Symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, shortness of breath and sometimes coughing up blood. It can also be characterised by nightsweats, chest pain or tightness, and lumps in the neck.

It is spread by an infected person coughing and someone else inhaling the bacteria. It cannot be contracted by sharing the same dishes or household items.

Anyone concerned can contact a helpline on 0800 0282 836.