Written by

Peter Rigby - Director of Medical Negligence

After more than 1,400 people from Carmarthenshire were tested for tuberculosis earlier this year. The latest outbreak has already killed one woman, with an additional 29 infections reported in the Llanelli region alone.

Now further reports of the infection spreading throughout the UK are on the rise.

Tuberculosis, or TB for short, is a bacterial infection, that is usually found in the lungs but it can affect other parts of the body.

The BBC reported earlier this month that Public Health Wales (PHW), which carried out the testing in partnership with Hywel Dda Health Board, announced the TB screening as the largest staff had ever tested in the time available.

PHW also announced that they would write to patients individually by the end of June with the
results of their blood tests and anyone suspected of needing further attention will be invited to attend a hospital outpatient clinic.

Dr Brendan Mason, consultant in communicable disease control at PHW said, “The community response to the screening exercise has been excellent,” said.

“The staff undertaking the screening tell us that this is the largest number of people they have ever
screened in the time available, which is testament to how hard everyone involved has worked to ensure a smooth process for members of the community who attended.”

TB is commonly diagnosed by a persistent cough that lasts longer than three weeks. Some
symptoms also include saliva containing blood.

Other symptoms of TB can include but are not limited to weight loss, a high temperature and night sweats.

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