Further to Current note 46/1201 (at http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/ewr/redirect.aspx?id=50896), in the UK, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has released a Tuberculosis Update Newsletter (available at http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1225441604230) which highlights recent developments in the UK for TB control.
Provisional 2011 data for the UK, to which HPS has contributed, show a rise in the number of new cases compared to 2010. There were 9,042 cases of TB reported to the national surveillance system in 2011; a rate of 14.5 per 100,000 population and an increase of 5.3% compared to provisional figures for 2010. Case numbers in England rose by 7.1% whereas Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland saw decreases in case reports by 15.4%, 12% and 7.4%, respectively.
As in previous years, London accounted for the largest proportion of cases in the UK (40%; 3588/9042) followed by the West Midlands (11.3%; 1018). In contrast to the decreases seen between 2009 and 2010, an increase in cases was seen in most English regions, with only the North East and the North West showing a decrease of 21.7% and 2.6%, respectively.
These data should be interpreted with caution as numbers are subject to change due to late notifications and de-notification of cases. It is therefore too early to determine whether this is a return to the upward trend of cases seen in the past two decades in the UK. As the incidence is lower than the provisional rate for 2009, this rise may also be consistent with a plateauing of cases and year on year fluctuation around a stable trend. Final data for 2011 will be published later this year. [Source: Health Protection Report, 23 March 2012. http://www.hpa.org.uk/hpr/archives/2012/news1212.htm]