Tuberculosis cases highest for nearly 30 years in UK

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According to the Health Protection Agency, the number of tuberculosis cases in the UK topped 9,000 last year, the highest for nearly 30 years.

Diagnoses have been rising almost continuously since the 1980s, with many of the new cases thought to be among people who caught the disease abroad.The number of drug-resistant TB cases has also dramatically increased to 389, nearly double that recorded in 2000

As symptoms can take up to two years to appear, health experts believe many people may have caught the disease before moving to the UK or caught it on trips back to the countries of their birth.

The HPA said it was important that local health managers put steps in place to diagnose and treat the condition in the worst affected areas.

About 300 people a year die as a result of TB, even though it is treatable if caught early enough.


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