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Tuberculosis cases up by 5% in year

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The Health Protection Agency has warned people to be vigilant after latest figures revealed the number of cases of tuberculosis rose by more than 5% last year.

Figures from the HPA showed there were 9,153 cases across the UK last year, compared with 8,679 in 2008.

This represents an increase of 5.5%.

London accounted for more than a third of all cases (3,476), while in the Midlands there were a further 1,035 cases.

Both regions saw little change from 2008 figures. But the number of cases in Wales rose by 31.7% from 167 in 2008 to 220 last year. The South West also saw cases increase from 268 to 337, which represents a rise of more than a quarter (25.8%).

There were also rises of just over 10% in the East Midlands (to 596 cases), the North West (to 841 cases) and the South East (to 765 cases).

There was a slight fall (down 2.3% to 168 cases) in the North East and a fall of 28.8% in Northern Ireland from 59 infections in 2008 to 42 in 2009.

Ibrahim Abubakar, a TB expert at the HPA’s centre for infections, said the increase is the biggest rise since 2005, when confirmed UK cases rose 9.4% to 8,394.

“This increase shows that we must remain vigilant in our fight against TB,” he said.

“This is an entirely preventable and curable infection, but it can be fatal if prompt diagnosis and treatment are not given.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Doesn't this indicate that we should? restart the immunisation programme

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