Wiltshire

NHS Swindon sets up new nursing service to tackle TB

A new nursing service has been set up to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in Swindon.

Health Protection Agency figures show the town has the highest number of TB cases in the south west with about 20 cases per year reported for 2007-2009.

Although the cases are below the national average NHS Swindon set up the service to spot signs of the disease early and to prevent it from spreading.

TB is an infectious bacterial disease of the lungs, causing symptoms such as coughing and chest pains.

The new nursing service offers TB screening and advice to people considered to be at the highest risk of contracting the disease.

NHS Swindon said those most vulnerable to the "serious but treatable disease" included new migrants, homeless people and drug users.

'Common symptoms'

Dr Karthik Paranthaman, from public health at NHS Swindon, said: "The new service will offer help to people diagnosed with TB as well as their close family and friends.

"There is a particular need to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of TB among the general public as early diagnosis is critical in preventing the disease being spread to other people.

"Some of the common symptoms of TB are a fever with night sweats, a persistent cough and blood in the spit, and weight loss."

The service is based at the Carfax Health Enterprise in the town centre.

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