New cases of tuberculosis (TB) in England have fallen to the lowest levels since records began in 1960.
Following action by Public Health England (PHE), the NHS and others, a 44% drop in new diagnoses, from a peak of 8,280 cases in 2011 to 4,672 in 2018 was recorded, with an 8.4% fall in diagnoses between 2017 and 2018 alone.
PHE is working towards the World Health Organization (WHO) goal to halve TB incidence by 2025, and ultimately eliminate the disease.
While huge strides have been made to reduce TB rates, further work needs to be done to eliminate the disease in England. The most deprived 10% of the population have a rate of TB more than seven times higher than the least deprived 10%, while people born outside the UK have a rate 13 times higher than people born in the UK. People, especially those from these communities, should be aware of the symptoms and make sure they visit their GP if they are concerned.
PHE has played a key role in driving down the rates of TB in England, working with NHS England and other partner organisations to implement the collaborative tuberculosis strategy for England: 2015 to 2020, which aims to raise awareness and tackle TB in vulnerable populations, ensure patients successfully complete treatment, and strengthen surveillance of TB rates.
More information and guidance on TB can be viewed on the HPS website.
Source: PHE, 22 March 2019