Report shows TB surge in London

Parts of London have higher rates of tuberculosis (TB) than countries such as Rwanda, Eritrea and Iraq, according to a report.

The capital recorded more than 2,500 new cases of TB in London last year, about 40% of the UK’s total.

The report, issued by the London Assembly, found a third of London boroughs exceed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “high incidence” threshold with more than 40 cases per 100,000 people.

And some borough wards are recording markedly more, areas of Hounslow, Brent, Harrow, Newham and Ealing have rates of more than 150 incidents per 100,000 people.

WHO figures from 2013 show Iraq has 45 per 100,000 while Rwanda had 69 and Eritrea 92. On a whole the UK had 13 cases per 100,000.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, which is passed on through coughing and sneezing. Most people who get TB have had prolonged exposure to an infected person, the report said.

The report calls for Londoners to be educated on the disease and the Greater London Authority to include TB services when dealing with rough sleepers.

Prisoners, refugees, migrants, people with substance abuse issues and homeless people were found to be most at risk of the disease.


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