Study shows increase in TB cases in Windsor and Maidenhead

Study shows increase in TB cases in Windsor and Maidenhead

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Michael Owens

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Study shows increase in TB cases in Windsor and Maidenhead

Cases of tuberculosis (TB) in Windsor and Maidenhead increased last year, according to new figures from Public Health England (PHE).

The TB in the UK: 2013 report published on Tuesday shows 12 cases in the Royal Borough in 2012, a rate of 8.3 cases per 100,000 people.

It represents a small increase from 10 cases last year at a rate of 6.9.

The highest rate in the Thames Valley was recorded in neighbouring Slough with 82 cases, a rate of 58.5.

In total, there were 294 cases in the region last year for 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,” she added.

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 or  the elderly or 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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