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London is the TB capital of Western Europe

17th December 2010

According to a new report, the number of people in London infected with tuberculosis has increased by 50% over the last ten years.

LondonSilhouette1

The dramatic jump in the number of cases has made the city the "tuberculosis capital" of Western Europe. 

An article about the report was published in The Lancet and showed that tuberculosis cases were on the increase.

There were around 2,309 cases in 1999, but by 2009 the number of cases of the disease in London had increased to 3,450.

As the number of cases recorded represented only around 70% of the total number of active cases, the figure has been underestimated.

"We are concerned to see cases of TB at their highest levels since the 1970s," said Dr Ibrahim Abubakar, head of tuberculosis surveillance at Britain's Health Protection Agency, said in a statement. 

"The key to reducing levels of TB is early diagnosis and appropriate treatment," Abubakar added.

Around 15 people per 100,000 are infected with the disease in the UK, compared with around 10 per 100,000 in France.

The report said although the disease was still rare in Britain, the country still had the highest amounts of people with tuberculosis in Western Europe.

The author of the report, Alimuddin Zumla, said more funding and new strategy was needed to address the problem. 

"We need to clean up our own back garden first...charity begins at home," he added.

 

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