Tuberculosis cases decline, yet the disease remains a concern.
The annual number of reported tuberculosis (TB) cases in Wales dropped to below 100 in 2018. Despite this, the disease remains a concern. Whilst total cases declined, the proportion of cases which are UK-born increased. These cases are often from populations reporting high levels of social risk factors such as homelessness, prison or drug use. Some TB outcomes have also worsened slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year.
A new report published by Public Health Wales finds a total of 97 cases were reported in Wales in 2018, with the highest rates in the more populated areas of Cardiff, Wrexham and Newport. This is a decrease from the 104 TB cases reported the previous year. TB rates in Wales have generally been declining since 2009.
England continues to have the highest rate of tuberculosis in the UK, with 8.3 per 100,000 population, followed by Scotland (4.9 per 100,000 population), Wales (3.1 per 100,000 population) and Northern Ireland (3.0 per 100,000 population). 49 per cent of tuberculosis cases were reported in the white ethnic group and 51 per cent were in the non-white population. Approximately half (52 per cent) of tuberculosis cases reported in Wales were born in the UK.
Daniel Thomas, Epidemiologist, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Public Health Wales, said: “The news of the number of TB cases in Wales dropping below 100 in 2018 is encouraging, yet it’s important that we remain vigilant in preventing the spread of the disease, particularly in cases where there are a number of social risk factors.”
The full report can be found via the following link;