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Featured Friday, Mar 8 2019

Health partners host events in Slough to support World Tuberculosis Day 2019

East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Public Health team, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust TB Team and Slough Borough Council are supporting World TB day with series of events on Thursday 21 March and Friday 22 March and a month long radio campaign on Asian Star, a local radio channel.

This is to raise awareness of active and sleeping tuberculosis, as well as testing for TB in people entering the UK from high risk* countries.

Representatives from the East Berkshire CCG, the TB Team and Public Health will be at:

Exotic Superstore 9.30am – 13.00pm on Thursday 21 March

Queensmere Shopping Centre (Opposite B&M superstore) 9.30am – 15.30pm on Friday 22 March

Wexham Park Hospital Reception Area 9.00am – 12noon on Monday 25 March

Associate Director of Nursing Jo Greengrass, from East Berkshire CCG, said: “While the prevalence of TB is coming down in many European countries, it remains high in the UK. Rates of TB in the South East of England (outside London) are highest in Slough and South Reading.

“A high percentage of TB in England comes from people who have a sleeping form of (latent) TB. They may have this for many years while feeling completely well. Illness, life stresses and certain medications can reduce their immunity and re-activate their sleeping form of TB.

Jo added: “It is important to identify people who have latent TB so it can be treated before it becomes active. Each untreated, infectious person could potentially infect a further 10 people a year.

“Early detection of active TB and tracing people who may have been in contact with it is key to treating people with the disease, as well as testing those they’ve been in contact with.

“TB is treatable and curable. The events we are holding next week aim to raise awareness and reduce infection through our concerted approach to TB prevention, treatment and control. We will be on hand to answer any questions, talk about TB and its symptoms and give advice about testing for latent TB.”

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:  “TB cases in Slough are still unacceptably high and I encourage residents who have entered the UK in the last five years from places such as South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa to book a simple blood or skin test, which is free from your local TB service.

Do look out for events happening in your local neighbourhood for World TB Day to find out more.”

Dr Jo Jefferies, Public Health Consultant said, “Partners across Slough have been doing some excellent work talking with residents about TB. People often think that TB is a Victorian disease that is no longer around in the UK.

“Around 56 people a year are diagnosed with TB in Slough. Rates in the three years from 2015 to 2017 were 37.7 per 100,00o, which is significantly higher than the national England rate of 9.9 per 100,000, Encouragingly however, this shows  a reduction from 41.5 in the previous 3 year period.*

“TB is curable, effective treatment and testing for the latent form of TB means people can be treated before they become ill. World TB Day is an opportunity for people everywhere to be informed about TB, educate others and urge governments to take action.”

You could still be at risk even if you have had a chest x-ray and it was clear before you came to this country and if you have had a BCG vaccination, as this does not protect you for life.

To book a blood test at our New Entrant Screening Clinic, King Edward VII Hospital, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DP call 01753 63 6089. Clinics are also available in Slough.

*High risk country list

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/infectious/tuberculosis/documents/countries-incidence.pdf

*Data source is PHE TB Strategy Monitoring Profile https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/tb-monitoring/data#page/4/gid/1938132814/pat/104/par/E45000019/ati/102/are/E06000039/iid/91361/age/1/sex/4