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London is country's TB capital

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London accounted for 44% of the total cases of TB in the country, according to figures released by the Health Protection Agency.

The capital also had the highest infection rate of 44.8 per 100,000.

The HPA figures showed the number of TB infections has not increased since 2005, with 8,497 cases reported across the UK.

Ibrahim Abubakar, head of the Tuberculosis Section at the Health Protection Agency’s Centre for Infections, said: ‘This year’s report shows that in 2006 both the number of TB cases and the rate were very similar to 2005.

‘It is too early to judge, however, whether this is a sign of a slow down in the long term increase which we have seen over the last two decades.

'Although levels of TB among the general population continue to be low, in some areas of the UK, such as inner cities, it is clear that rates of TB remain high.

'The majority of TB cases in the UK occurred in young adults aged 15-44 years with the London region accounting for the largest proportion of cases.'

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