Screen­ing finds 76 new TB cases

La­tent cases dis­cov­ered in town tests

Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - Christie Ban­non

MORE than 70 cases of la­tent tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) in­fec­tion have been con­firmed in a Llanelli vil­lage af­ter a screen­ing ex­er­cise.

The com­mu­nity screen­ing ear­lier this month iden­ti­fied no ac­tive cases of TB dis­ease but 76 cases of la­tent TB in­fec­tion were dis­cov­ered.

La­tent TB is not in­fec­tious as it can­not be passed to oth­ers and those who have it do not need ur­gent treat­ment.

At the be­gin­ning of the month hun­dreds of peo­ple queued to see doc­tors in Ll­wyn­hendy fol­low­ing the out­break, which was linked to the Join­ers Arms pub. Lo­cals claimed they missed out on be­ing screened be­cause so many peo­ple turned up.

MORE than 70 cases of la­tent tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) in­fec­tion have been con­firmed in a Llanelli vil­lage af­ter a screen­ing ex­er­cise.

The com­mu­nity screen­ing ear­lier this month iden­ti­fied no ac­tive cases of TB dis­ease but 76 cases of la­tent TB in­fec­tion were dis­cov­ered.

La­tent TB is not in­fec­tious as it can­not be passed to other peo­ple and those who have it do not need ur­gent treat­ment.

At the be­gin­ning of the month hun­dreds of peo­ple queued to see doc­tors in Ll­wyn­hendy fol­low­ing the out­break, which was linked to the Join­ers Arms pub.

Lo­cals liv­ing in Ll­wyn­hendy claimed that they missed out on be­ing screened be­cause so many peo­ple turned up from out­side the area.

More than 1,400 peo­ple were screened over three days in the vil­lage this month. De­mand was so high that one screen­ing ses­sion was ex­tended and an ad­di­tional ses­sion was ar­ranged.

Pub­lic Health Wales, which led the screen­ing ex­er­cise in con­junc­tion with Hy­wel Dda Univer­sity health board, has writ­ten to the peo­ple who were screened with the re­sults of neg­a­tive blood tests.

Pa­tients re­quir­ing fur­ther at­ten­tion have also been in­vited to a hos­pi­tal out­pa­tient clinic by the health board to dis­cuss their re­sults and any fur­ther tests or treat­ment.

Dr Bren­dan Ma­son, con­sul­tant in com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease con­trol at Pub­lic Health Wales, said: “La­tent TB oc­curs when in­di­vid­u­als have been in­fected with the germ that causes TB, but do not have ac­tive TB dis­ease.

“They are not in­fec­tious and can­not spread TB in­fec­tion to oth­ers, and do not feel un­well and or have any symp­toms.

“If la­tent TB bac­te­ria be­come ac­tive in the body and mul­ti­ply, the per­son will go from hav­ing la­tent TB in­fec­tion to hav­ing ac­tive TB dis­ease. For this rea­son, peo­ple with la­tent TB in­fec­tion can be treated to pre­vent them from devel­op­ing TB dis­ease.”

Screen­ing was de­ferred for more than 600 peo­ple, who will be sent ap­point­ments by the health board to at­tend an­other one.

Dr Philip Kloer, med­i­cal direc­tor and direc­tor of clin­i­cal strat­egy for Hy­wel Dda Univer­sity health board, said: “We would like to re­as­sure all those peo­ple who have been screened that they will re­ceive a let­ter to pro­vide them with their re­sults and any fur­ther ac­tion needed.

“We are also or­gan­is­ing ad­di­tional screen­ing clin­ics for those who re­quire screen­ing and we will be in touch di­rectly with peo­ple who have iden­ti­fied them­selves to confirm ar­range­ments in the com­ing months.”

The aim of the ex­er­cise was to iden­tify ac­tive and la­tent TB cases in the Ll­wyn­hendy pop­u­la­tion so that the af­fected in­di­vid­u­als can pro­ceed to treat­ment and the out­break can be brought un­der con­trol.

Peo­ple queue for a TB screen­ing ses­sion in Ll­wyn­hendy.

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