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Health officials make new Carmarthenshire tuberculosis screening call

25 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
TB test for tuberculosis. Photo by Oxford Immunotec is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has renewed calls for people who have been contacted as part of the Llwynhendy tuberculosis (TB) outbreak to attend their screening appointments.

More than 2600 people have attended the ongoing community screening programme which started in June 2019, but there are a further 485 people who have been identified as contacts and invited for screening who have yet to attend their appointments.

Dr Brendan Mason of Public Health Wales, Chair of the Outbreak Control Team, said: “We are really grateful to the Llwynhendy community for their assistance and help in coming forward to be screened in such large numbers. It has been invaluable in helping to manage the outbreak.

“If you have been contacted in the past and asked to come for a screening appointment, now is the time to get tested. TB is a serious illness but diagnosing it early through screening gives us the best chance to treat it effectively.”

“It is really important that we screen all the contacts identified and make sure that anyone diagnosed with latent or active TB gets the monitoring or treatment that they need to prevent any further spread.”

Since the start of the Carmarthenshire outbreak in 2010, 31 cases of active TB have been identified and 303 people – or more than one in ten of those who have been screened – have been diagnosed with latent TB.

Treatment

Although latent TB is not infectious and does not affect people’s quality of life it may develop into active TB at a later date and as a result health officials are stressing the importance of identifying those with latent TB so that they can be monitored and receive appropriate treatment.

The symptoms of TB disease are as follows:

  • A cough which lasts for three weeks or longer, does not respond to normal medicine and keeps getting worse
  • Fever (high temperature)
  • Sweating at night so much that the bed sheets need changing
  • Loss of weight for no reason
  • Fatigue (lack of energy or extreme tiredness)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood (this is very rare but needs immediate medical advice).

People who have been contacted as part of the Llwynhendy TB outbreak and asked to make an appointment for TB screening in the past, no matter how long ago, are asked to call 0300 303 9642 to make an appointment.

Individuals with symptoms should not wait to be screened but should seek clinical advice from their GP or NHS 111 Wales.

More information on tuberculosis is available from NHS 111 Wales.


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