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World TB Day – 24th March 2016

23 Mar 2016 11:52:35

Despite many people believing TB has been eradicated in the UK it never went away. In fact, the UK experienced a two decade long rise in cases from the mid-1980s.

As part of World TB Day on 24th March 2016 specialists in Rotherham are trying to help raise awareness of this condition and stop it spreading further.

Tracey Turton, TB Specialist and Community Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said:
"TB of the lungs is spread through the air by coughs or sneezes but it isn’t easy to catch in most cases. You have to be in fairly prolonged close contact with someone who has infectious TB, for example living in the same household."

Among infectious diseases, TB remains the second leading killer of adults in the world, with 1.5 million TB-related deaths in 2010.

Although most people in the UK will never encounter a case of TB, the disease can affect anyone so it is important that people are aware of the symptoms and treatment available.

There are around 9,000 cases of TB currently reported each year in the UK.

Most cases occur in major cities, particularly in London, with nearly 3 in 4 TB cases found among people born outside the UK.

Rotherham is a low incidence area with only around 20 cases of TB each year, on average.

Tracey continued, "TB is curable with a course of special antibiotics taken for at least 6 months. The most important part of controlling TB is identifying early and treating those who already have the disease, to shorten their infectious status and to stop it being passed on to others."

The most common symptoms of TB in the lungs include: a persistent cough, loss of weight for no obvious reason, a fever and heavy night sweats, a sense of generally being unwell and unusual tiredness or even coughing up blood.

For more information or advice about TB please contact your local GP or Public Health England.

For more information about TB visit the Tuberculosis Charity website ‘TB Alert’ www.tbalert.org.

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