DOZENS of people who may have had close contact with a TB patient in hospital have been offered screening.

It has emerged that a patient was treated for the infectious disease in Wishaw General Hospital between December last year and March.

NHS Lanarkshire has contacted 33 patients who may have had contact with the patient.

All staff who came into contact with the patient during treatment, have been informed and issued with information and advice, and will be offered screening if required.

The health board said patients and staff were contacted following an extensive assessment process to identify everyone involved.

No other patients or staff are identified as being at risk.

Dr Josephine Pravinkumar, consultant in public health medicine with NHS Lanarkshire said: "Tuberculosis is not easily passed from person to person.

"However, as a precaution we are offering screening to individuals that we have identified as having had close contact with the patient.

"TB is a relatively uncommon infection in Scotland. It is serious, but treatable."

TB can be passed on from prolonged contact with someone who is coughing up germs.

Symptoms include a prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, high temperature, coughing up blood or chest tightness.