Fewer TB Cases Recorded, But Numbers Still Too High

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A small decrease in UK Tuberculosis cases in 2007, compared with 2006, was reported by the Health Protection Agency when provisional UK figures were released for World TB Day, but experts warn the number is still too high.

8,496 UK cases were reported in 2007 which is down 0.7% from the previous year when the comparable figure was 8,555. The main burden of TB is still in the nation's capital, with 3,333 cases reported in London in 2007, 39% of the UK total.

Dr Ibrahim Abubakar , a TB Expert at the Health Protection Agency's Centre for Infections, said:

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"This year's provisional figures show a slight decrease in the number of cases of TB and any decrease is welcome. We should not assume, however, that the overall trend is now downwards as provisional data must always be viewed with caution.

"The key to halting the health burden which TB causes in the UK is the prompt diagnosis and treatment of infectious cases. Improving the wider understanding of the disease and its symptoms will help achieve this. Various myths still exist about TB and how it is spread. The Agency is committed to raising awareness of the disease in a bid to see fewer cases occurring and old-fashioned attitudes diminished."

Prof Peter Borriello, Director of the Agency's Centre for Infections, said:

"TB is preventable and treatable - health professionals and the general public alike should be mindful of these key, simple facts about TB.

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