12 cases of TB per year in NW

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A ‘consumption’ nurse has been introduced at Gransha to provide training to local health care staff on how to handle an average of 12 new cases of Tuberculosis (TB) in the Western Trust each year.

Another part-time TB Nurse Specialists is based in the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.

As well as providing training, the nurses also have a role in reporting to the Public Health Agency (PHA) when people have a positive diagnosis of TB.

Marking World Tuberculosis Day on March 24, Dr Martin Kelly, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Western Health and Social Care Trust said: “To encourage early diagnosis of the infection, it is important that people are aware of the symptoms of TB which include; persistent cough, night sweats and fever, weight loss or blood in your phlegm/spit. TB can be curable and the sooner the condition is diagnosed the better outcome of treatment for patients.

“As many as nine million new cases of active TB and nearly two million deaths from TB are estimated to occur around the world every year, mostly in developing countries.

“TB is caused by bacteria which usually affects the lungs. It can be spread from person to person when someone who has TB sneezes or coughs, although prolonged and close contacted is needed to be at risk of infection. If people are concerned about their symptoms they should contact their GP and they will be referred to the Trust’s Specialist TB Nurse Service.”