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New call-out in Llwynhendy Community TB Screening invites children to be tested

PUBLIC Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board are again asking people living in the Llwynhendy area who may have been exposed to TB disease to come forward to be screened.

The latest call-out is the next step in an ongoing community screening programme and has specifically been extended to include children and young people who may have been exposed to cases of TB within specific settings in the local community.

Previously, only adults have been invited to be screened, although all children who have attended for screening have been tested. Parents and carers are therefore urged to check if their children are eligible to be screened.

Those encouraged to come forward to be screened at this time include:

  • Customers and employees of the Joiners Arms public house in Llwynhendy between 2005 and 2018, who have not previously been identified as a contact of someone with active TB. This now includes any children and young people who may have visited the pub with family or friends and potentially been exposed to an active case of TB.
  • Individuals of all ages who have been in the same room as someone with active TB, within four months before the person with TB was diagnosed and treated.

Parents or carers who believe their children are eligible to be screened are asked to call the dedicated Public Health Wales contact line on 02920 827 627 before Friday 13 December 2019.

The contact line will be open on weekdays from Tuesday 3 December until Friday 13 December, 10am to 4pm.

Adults who believe they are eligible, and who have not previously been screened as part of the exercise, should also get in touch via this number.

Dr Brendan Mason, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at Public Health Wales, said: “While we have not previously issued an explicit call for children to attend for screening, we have screened approximately 200 children as part of the exercise to date.

“A small but significant number of cases of latent TB infection have been identified in these children, and so we want to make sure we screen other children in the area who may also be affected.”

Screening appointments will be sent out in due course. Screening will commence for children and young people before Christmas and continue into early 2020.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “Managing this outbreak is a priority for the health board and we would like to encourage those, especially parents or carers of children, who think they meet the criteria for screening to make contact.

“We understand that this time of year can be extremely busy for many people but please do not let that put you off making enquiries through the dedicated contact line.

“Our services are working hard to ensure that the screening and after care for children is as quick and easy as it can be.”

The screening exercise is being carried out in an attempt to bring under control an ongoing outbreak of TB in Llwynhendy that Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda UHB have been monitoring, investigating and taking action to control for some time.

The aim of the exercise is to identify active and latent TB cases in the Llwynhendy population so that the affected individuals can proceed to treatment.

No cases of active TB disease have been identified through the community screening exercise to date, but 204 cases of latent TB infection have been identified.

Public Health Wales and HDUHB are continuing to review the findings to determine if any additional action is required to bring the outbreak under control.

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