Phase 2 of Llwynhendy Community TB Screening Exercise finds no new active cases of TB

No active cases of TB disease have been found within the community following the second phase of a community tuberculosis (TB) screening exercise carried out at Prince Philip Hospital earlier this month. This was in response to the TB outbreak in Llwynhendy, Carmarthenshire.

Latent TB was identified in 128 individuals. This is in addition to 76 cases identified during the previous round of screening, meaning that 204 cases of latent TB have been identified through the community screening exercise to date.

Latent TB is not infectious and cannot be passed to other people. However, treatment is recommended to prevent the infection developing into active TB disease.

No active cases of TB disease have been identified through the screening exercise to date.

The second phase of screening took place by invitation only for individuals who were unable to be screened or only received partial screening due to the high demand during the phase 1 drop-in screening sessions held in the Llwynhendy area in June.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has written to individuals screened during the latest phase of the exercise with their results, and will be inviting those eligible for treatment to book an appointment at a hospital outpatient clinic. 

In addition, approximately 90 individuals whose results were inconclusive will be invited for retesting.

Dr Brendan Mason, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Public Health Wales, said:

“No cases of active TB disease have been identified through the screening exercise to date. 

“The exercise is achieving its objective by identifying individuals in the community with latent TB infection at a time when they are not infectious, who can then be offered treatment to prevent TB in the future.

“Our focus is now on providing clinical support to those individuals identified as requiring further attention through this latest phase of the exercise.”

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health, Hywel Dda University Health Board, added:

“We encourage those who have been invited to attend a clinic either to discuss treatment or for retesting, to ensure they do so. Appointment letters will be sent out in the coming weeks.

“I’d like to thank all the members of the public who have made the time to attend their appointments so far and also thank the many people who have worked across a number of different organisations to deliver this for the community of Llwynhendy.”

Nearly 800 individuals were screened over ten days as part of the second phase of the screening exercise. Screening took place at a dedicated facility set up at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

The screening exercise was carried out in an attempt to bring under control an ongoing outbreak of TB in Llwynhendy that Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda Health Board have been monitoring and investigating for some time.

The aim of the exercise was to identify active and latent TB cases in the Llwynhendy population so that the affected individuals could proceed to treatment.

Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board are reviewing the data gathered through both phases of the screening exercise to determine if additional action is required to bring the outbreak to an end.