Carmarthenshire TB outbreak: Children to be screened

Long queue of people waitingf or TB screening outside
Image caption More than 1,400 people have already been screened in Carmarthenshire

Children are to be tested for tuberculosis (TB) in a mass screening amidst an outbreak of the disease.

Margaret Pegler, 64, from Llwynhendy, Carmarthenshire, died five days after being diagnosed in September.

More than 1,400 people have so far been tested by Public Health Wales and 29 cases identified.

It is now widening its programme to test young people and children in the area who may have been exposed to TB, which is communicable but treatable.

Parents and carers are being urged to check if their children are eligible.

Image copyright Jonathan Pegler
Image caption Margaret Pegler, right, died in September 2018

More than 200 cases of latent TB infection have so far been identified, including a "small but significant" number in children. Screening is set to continue into early 2020. 

Those being urged to come forward are:

  • Customers or employees of the Joiners Arms pub in Llwynhendy, which has been linked to the outbreak, between 2005 and 2018
  • Children and young people who may have visited the pub
  • Individuals of all ages who have been in the same room as someone with active TB
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In Wales, there are about 100 cases a year of tuberculosis - the lowest rate in the UK, according to Public Health Wales

Ros Jervis, Hywel Dda University Health Board's director of public health, said it was the "next step in an ongoing community screening programme".

She added: "We understand this time of year can be extremely busy but please do not let that put you off making inquiries through the dedicated contact line. 

"Our services are working to ensure the screening and after-care for children is as quick and easy as it can be."

Public Health Wales said TB remains rare in Wales and urged people to contact a helpline if they have concerns - 029 2082 7627, before Friday, 13 December.

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