X-ray from a person suffering from TB

25 children in an elementary school in Co. Cork have been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) since screening began a week ago.

Out of the 25 children five of the young children have the full blown infection and the additional 20 have a latent form of the disease.

Up to the middle of this week 220 children attending Ballintemple National School have been screened as well as the staff.

Despite three staff members being referred to a respiratory physician no cases of TB were reported.

An additional 100 children are to be screened in the coming week.

Despite a start back date this week the school has remained closed but promised to open its doors by September 6.

Dr Margaret O’Sullivan, public health consultant, stresses in the letter that "it is very important that no one returns to the school unless they have been screened and advised by the investigating medical teams" — except the new junior infant class.

O'Sullivan also mentioned it's "crucial to appreciate that any child returning to the school who has been diagnosed with active TB is… on treatment and... not currently infectious".

The TB outbreak was first reported at the end of July and by August 17 three children were diagnosed with it.