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Government and health officials are trying to allay growing concerns in Nain following the tuberculosis death of a teenage boy.

Fourteen-year-old Gussie Bennett was rushed to hospital from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to the Janeway Children’s Hospital late last week and died two days later.

Testing showed a “strong indication” that the cause of death was TB. Contract tracing is now underway to determine who the boy’s close contacts were. TB is spread by air, simply through; talking, coughing, and sneezing.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include a cough that lasts for two or more weeks, chest pain, loss of appetite, fever, night sweats, and extreme tiredness.

Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe expressed deep sympathies to the family of Gussie Bennett, and described the situation as “tragic”.

“It is important for residents to understand that there is no imminent risk to the community,” said Lampe.

He’s urging anyone with potential symptoms to report immediately to the Nain clinic.

The Department of Health says TB is preventable and curable, with treatments available. Weekly TB clinics will be reinstated in Nain to help with early detection.

Dr. Delphine Grynszpan, provincial Medical Officer of Health, will be providing an update to media 2:30 p.m. Friday.

NTV’s Danielle Barron will have a full report during the NTV Evening Newshour.

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