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Tuberculosis screening urged after outbreak in Carmarthenshire village

People in a Welsh village are being urged to get screened for tuberculosis to control an outbreak of the infection.

Since 2010, there have been 29 peopled affected in Llwynhendy, near Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.

Around 80 people have been identified as contacts of those confirmed TB cases, however, Public Health Wales (PHW) said there could be more.

A TB community screening exercise, run by Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board, will take place in June.

As well as those affected, they are also calling on people who may have been a customer or employee of the Joiners Arms public house, between 2005 and 2018, to come forward.

Our aim is to ensure that all affected individuals proceed to treatment as soon as possible so that we can halt any further spread of the disease and bring the outbreak under control. Carrying out a community screening exercise at this time is the best course of action in order to bring this outbreak under control and, ideally, eradicate the disease from the Llwynhendy area.

– DR BRENDAN MASON, PUBLIC HEALTH WALES

What is TB?

  • TB is an infection usually found in the lungs, but any part of the body can be affected.
  • Anyone can catch TB by breathing in the bacteria in tiny droplets sneezed or coughed out by someone who has TB in their lungs.
  • The most common symptom of TB is a persistent cough for more than three weeks, with spit which can sometimes be blood-stained.
  • Other symptoms can include weight loss, a high temperature, and sweating, particularly at night.

TB is rare in Wales and in the UK as a whole.

Wales continues to have the lowest rate of tuberculosis per 100,000 population compared to the other regions of the UK.

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