Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which commonly affects the lungs. Cases of TB in England are slowly rising, so specialist staff in Rotherham are trying to help raise awareness of this condition.
As part of World Stop TB Day on 24th March 2013 they will be putting up displays and giving advice to further raise awareness about the disease.
Tracey Turton, TB Specialist and Community Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust says: "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. Rotherham is a low incidence area with only around 30 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 please contact Tracey Turton TB specialist nurse on 01709 42 1735. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about TB visit the Tuberculosis Charity website ‘TB Alert’ www.tbalert.org.