76 cases of latent TB identified in community screening

A mass tuberculosis (TB) screening carried out in a Welsh community has identified 76 people carrying an inactive form of the infection.

More than 1400 people were screened in Llwynhendy, Carmarthenshire earlier this month after Margaret Pegler, 64, died and 29 cases of TB were identified in an outbreak.

Latent TB is not infectious and cannot be passed to other people.

Public Health Wales, who led the screening exercise alongside Hywel Dda University Health Board, says people who have a latent form of TB do not need urgent treatment.

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.

Wales has the lowest rate of TB per 100,000 population compared to other regions of the UK.