133 Children Contract Tuberculosis in Southern Kazakhstan

Itar Wire Service (02/05/98)

Kazakhstan health officials report that 133 children in the city of Zhanatas contracted tuberculosis during a routine fall vaccination last year.

Although the children contracted TB as early as last September, local authorities reportedly concealed the incident from national officials as they tried to cure the children on their own.

According to deputy chief of Kazakhstan's sanitary and epidemiological surveillance service Albert Askarov, however, their inability to do so forced them to report the incident several days ago.

Askarov said the children were infected because untrained medics accidentally used the wrong, more concentrated formulation of the vaccine for injections.

National and regional health officials are now investigating the situation.