Public health officials in Cork have begun screening over 220 children and their teachers for Tuberculosis after three pupils from Ballintemple National School were diagnosed with the disease in the past three weeks.

The screening is under way at St Finbarr's Hospital.

Screening involves a simple skin test and a chest X-ray if required.

The Health Service Executive has said that TB can be cured with antibiotic treatment for at least six months.

It has confirmed that the source of the disease has not been identified.

The first case of TB was identified a month after primary school holidays began.

Notification of two further cases came in the past two weeks.

The incubation period from infection to a positive skin test for TB can be up to 12 weeks.

On RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Head of Health Protection with the HSE Dr Kevin Kelleher said the national screening programme for TB needed to be expanded.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael's Health Spokesman Dr James Reilly has called on Minister for Health Mary Harney to set-up an immediate review of TB services, including the administration of the BCG vaccination for infants.

The Irish Thoracic Society said people should be educated about the symptoms.

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