Milton Keynes sees worrying increase in tuberculosis cases, research shows

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Milton Keynes has seen a disturbing increase in cases of the Victorian disease of tuberculosis, it has been revealed.

A new study has revealed the regions of the UK with the greatest increase in tuberculosis cases – and Milton Keynes University Hospital is in the top 10.

It saw a 46.70% increase in admissions of this nature between 2019 and 2023.

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The investigation by health experts at NowPatient found that although low, tuberculosis cases in the UK have increased generally to just over 2,000 in 2023 and are expected to continue to rise.

Cases of the Victorian disease of tuberculosis are on the rise in Milton KeynesCases of the Victorian disease of tuberculosis are on the rise in Milton Keynes
Cases of the Victorian disease of tuberculosis are on the rise in Milton Keynes

But to put in into context, in MK there were 15 patients with the disease in 2019 and this rose to 22 last year.

NowPatient submitted Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to NHS trusts across the country to reveal which areas have seen the biggest increase in Victorian diseases such as gout, rickets, tuberculosis, malnutrition, malaria and scarlet fever, as well as analysing search data to reveal which areas of the UK have the most curious residents when it comes to these illnesses.

Kettering General Hospital has seen the biggest increase in tuberculosis cases – 238.9% in four years. This NHS trust also saw the second-highest increase in rickets cases totalling almost 140% in the last five years.

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Navin Khosla, pharmacist at NowPatient, said: “Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection that usually affects the lungs. Antibiotics can be given for treatment and if left untreated can become serious. A vaccine also helps protect some people who may be at risk of TB,” he said.

Symptoms include:

A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks - phlegm or mucus with blood may be coughed up

Fatigue

High temperature or night sweats

Loss of appetite

Weight loss

General unwellness

TB can spread to other parts of the body including glands, bones or the brain, with symptoms including:

Swollen joints or ankles

Body aches and pains

A stiff neck

A rash on the legs, face or other parts of the body

Dark or cloudy urine

“If you have any of these symptoms... then you should see your GP straight away,” said Navin.

The main treatment for tuberculosis is to take antibiotics for at least six months.