World TB Day is led by the World Health Organisation and takes place every year on 24 March to get people talking about TB. There were 9million new cases of TB globally and 1.5million deaths in 2013, however 3 million people were missed due to not knowing the signs of infection and where to access the appropriate treatment. The Trust’s TB Service will have an information stall at the Minerva Health Centre in Preston all day on 24 March where people can drop in and find out more about the disease, and speak to a member of staff if they have any questions.
Sabiha Diwan, Healthcare Support Worker in the TB Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“World TB Day is a great opportunity to get people talking about TB and raise awareness of signs of infection and how to access treatment. TB is one of the world’s most infectious killer diseases, second only to HIV/AIDS. The disease is spread through the air, so anyone infected can pass it on through coughing, spitting or sneezing. However, if people can spot the symptoms and seek adequate treatment, it can be cured. In 2013 there were 37million lives saved due to correct diagnosis, treatment and care, and we want to ensure the messages get out there so help and support can be given at the earliest opportunity.”
The signs and symptoms of TB can be mild for several months and can include:
• A cough that lasts for more than three weeks
• Fever and heavy night sweats
• Feeling unusually tired or ill
• Unexplained loss of weight
• Not wanting to eat
If anyone is concerned about possible infection, they should contact their GP in the first instance. For more information about TB and the support available please contact the team on 01772 777148.