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Blackburn's TB figures highest in Lancashire
THE number of people diagnosed with tuberculosis in Blackburn increased last year, according to new figures.
The town overtook Preston as the worst in Lancashire for cases of the common and potentially lethal infection in 2012.
Fifty six people were diagnosed last year, an increase of 25 per cent since 2011.
Thirty eight people in every 100,000 contracted the disease in Blackburn, nearly three times the national average of 14.
TB lead from the Cumbria and Lancashire Public Health England (PHE) Centre, Dr Ken Lambden said the issue of infection was an important one.
He said: “TB is a preventable and treatable condition but if left untreated, can be life-threatening.
Efforts to control the spread of this infection must remain a public health priority.
“Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are key to reducing TB levels so we encourage local health service commissioners to prioritise the delivery of appropriate clinical and public health services for TB.”
Dr Lamben also called for good access to screening, and diagnostic services for migrants, to reduce the risk of people coming to the UK with it.
Director for health protection and medical director at PHE, Dr Paul Cosford it would oversee the development of a stronger national approach to TB control.
He said: “We are determined to see a sustained reduction in TB, and will work tirelessly to support local partners in those areas where the burden is greatest.”
TB is an infection caused by bacteria. It usually affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. It is transmitted through coughs and sneezes but requires close prolonged contact in order to spread.
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