Tuberculosis in Slough four times national average shock new figures reveal

Tuberculosis cases in Slough are the highest in the Thames Valley according to new figures from Public Health England.

Tuberculosis

The ‘TB in the UK: 2013’ report, published on Tuesday, shows 82 reported cases in 2012, at a rate of 58.5 per 100,000 people.

That is almost four times the national average despite a decrease from 84 cases at a rate of 59.9 in 2011.

There were 12 cases in Windsor and Maidenhead in 2012 at a rate of 8.3.

In total there were 294 cases across the region last year at a rate of 14.5, compared to the national average of 14.

Dr Diana Grice, Thames Valley Public Health England centre director, said control of the life-threatening disease must remain a public health priority.

“Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are key to reducing TB levels in the UK so we encourage local health service commissioners to prioritise the delivery of appropriate clinical and public health services”

Although the number of cases has stabilised since an increase in the 80s and 90s, the number of cases in the UK is high compared to most other western European countries.

People from ethnic minority groups, the elderly, or those with a history of homelessness, imprisonment, use of drugs or alcohol are most at risk in the UK-born population.

However, almost three quarters of cases were in people born in countries where TB is more common, including 60 per cent originating from South Asia and 22 per cent from sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection and medical director at PHE, said: “TB remains an important public health problem, particularly among people from vulnerable communities.

“We are determined to see a sustained reduction in TB, and will work tirelessly to support local partners in those areas where the burden is greatest.”

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