A lack of screening for those most at risk from tuberculosis (TB) in the UK could be responsible for the increase in the disease.
The BBC has recently learned that those most at risk of developing tuberculosis are not being screened in some parts of the UK. These gaps in screening correlate with a seven per cent increase in new cases, with the Health Protection Agency representative acknowledging some areas are “failing to prioritise screening”.
There were 9,000 new cases of TB in 2011, with 70 per cent of the cases occurring among recent migrants to Britain from countries where the disease remains prevalent. The condition was largely eradicated in the 1980s, but has been on the rise of late.
Last year the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended a co-ordinated screening programme to detect latent TB among the most at risk migrant groups. However, a subsequent survey has revealed that around 40 per cent of primary care providers are failing to implement the screening.