TB cases drop in MK

It looks like the number of cases of Tuberculosis in Milton Keynes are going down.

Preliminary figures show there were 34 cases of the illness in Milton Keynes in 2009. In 2008 there were 38 cases and in 2006 there were 43 new cases.

But across England, the number of cases of the illness appears to be on the increase. According to the Health Protection Agency the number of people infected by the illness per year has gone up from 8,496 to 8,679.

TB is a preventable infection and is spread from person to person when someone coughs or sneezes. Although it requires close and prolonged contact with someone with active lung TB or be at risk of infection.

Sue Frossell, a consultant in public health at NHS Milton Keynes, told Heart:

"Generally speaking how we live our lives in the UK doesn't open us up to contracting TB from other people. But where you have high numbers of people living in one house or small living quarters then the potential for contracting that disease from someone else is quite high." 

You should be aware of the following key, simple facts about TB:

  1. TB is curable. it is usually treated with a six-month course of anti-biotics, which MUST be completed in order to discourage recurrence of disease or drug resistance.
  2. Other symptoms include: a persisten cough, weight loss, night sweats, breathlessness, lack of appetite, fatigue, and a general sense of feeling unwell. TB may also affect glands causing a swollen neck, or bone and joints leading to aches and pains. TB meningitis often gives a person severe headaches and, although rare, may result in death.
  3. Under half of cases in the UK have the infectious form of the disease. Most cases present little or no risk to others.
  4. TB affects children and adults differently. It is very uncommon to catch TB from a child with the disease.
  5. TB treatment is free for the patient