04 March 2022
Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) are urging people who have been contacted as part of the Llwynhendy tuberculosis (TB) outbreak to attend their screening appointments, if they have not already done so.
More than 2600 people have attended the ongoing community screening exercise which started in June 2019.
However, there are 485 people who have been identified as contacts and invited for screening who have not yet attended their appointments. The OCT is keen to stress how important it is that those invited for screening now come forward to attend for their appointments.
Dr Brendan Mason of Public Health Wales, Chair of the OCT, said: “We are really grateful to the Llwynhendy community for their assistance and help in coming forward to be screened in such large numbers. It has been invaluable in helping to manage the outbreak.
“We understand that during the Coronavirus pandemic people may have been reluctant to go to a hospital to have their screening done, but I can assure them that there are safety measures in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“If you have been contacted in the past and asked to come for a screening appointment, now is the time to get tested. It is really important that we screen all the contacts identified and make sure that anyone diagnosed with latent or active TB gets the monitoring or treatment that they need to prevent any further spread.”
31 cases of active TB have been identified during the outbreak. Active TB is a serious infectious disease, but is treatable if identified early.
In addition, 303 people – or more than one in ten of those who have been screened - have been diagnosed with latent TB. Latent TB is not infectious and does not affect people’s quality of life, but may develop into active TB at a later date. As a result, it is important that people with latent TB are identified so that they can be monitored and receive appropriate treatment.
If you have been contacted as part of the Llwynhendy TB outbreak and asked to make an appointment for TB screening in the past, no matter how long ago, please call 0300 303 9642 to make an appointment.
Individuals with symptoms should not wait to be screened, but should seek clinical advice from their GP or NHS 111 Wales.
The symptoms of TB disease are as follows:
• A cough which lasts for three weeks or longer, does not respond to normal medicine and keeps getting worse
• Fever (high temperature)
• Sweating at night so much that the bed sheets need changing
• Loss of weight for no reason
• Fatigue (lack of energy or extreme tiredness)
• Loss of appetite
• Coughing up blood (this is very rare but needs immediate medical advice).
For more information on TB, visit the NHS 111 Wales website here.