New member enquiries 0800 414 8001 *

Existing members 0800 414 8100 *

Update: tuberculosis today

Tuesday 18th March 

Tuberculosis (TB) rates have stabilised in recent years, but the UK still sees more cases than most of its Western European neighbours. Here are the latest headline statistics. 

For the majority of the UK population, the good news is that the risk of infection is low. Unless you are from a high-risk group, you are unlikely to come in to contact with or be affected by the bacteria that cause TB. The latest available figures from Public Health England*, however, state that there were still 8,751 cases reported in 2012. Of these, approximately three in four were born outside the UK, with the majority coming from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where TB is a known risk to public health.

Back home, most cases occur in densely built-up urban areas, with patients falling into the following groups: young adults, immigrants from countries with a high incidence of TB and individuals with other high risk factors for TB. These social risk factors include drug and/or alcohol misuse, and homelessness. In terms of geography, London accounts for the highest number of cases (close to 40 per cent), with the West Midlands coming in second at 12 per cent.

A spike in diagnoses was recorded between 1990 and 2005, but over the intervening seven years these rates have stabilised, representing an encouraging shift in the right direction. In terms of the strains of TB resistant to standard treatment regimens, the number of cases resistant to any “first line” drug has decreased over a 12-month period, to 7.4 per cent, while multi-drug resistant (MDR) cases remain constant at 1.6 per cent. Again, a positive sign of progress.

Nine in every ten patients with harder-to-treat MDR tuberculosis were born outside the UK. To find out more about MDR tuberculosis, what makes it so challenging and the research being carried out to improve the prognosis for patients, read our Q&A with TB Alert's medical expert, Professor Peter Davies

Further information

Find out more about the symptoms of TB. This is just one of the programmes run by TB Alert, the UK’s national TB charity. To learn about the important work the charity is doing in the UK, India and Africa, visit the main website.

Members of benenden health can contact the 24-hour GP advice line if they are concerned about their health and would like to speak to a doctor.

* Source: Tuberculosis in the UK, report 2013; Public Health England 

twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon linkedin icon googleplus icon

Contact us - We would love to hear from you

New members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Existing members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Please note that your call may be recorded for our mutual security and also for training and quality purposes.

Health cash plans

Benenden Health Cash Plan
BHSF Limited
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

Send us a message

Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242521 (Lines open 8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri)

Health assessments

Send us a message

Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

Travel insurance

Send us a message

Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Lines open for Customer Services
9am-8pm Monday to Friday
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Benenden for business

Send us a message

Benenden for Business
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG

0800 414 8179
(Lines are open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Home insurance

Send us a message

Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

Home Emergency
0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Legal Expenses
0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Charitable trust

Send us a message

Find out more

Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)