Friday, March 23, 2012

Rise in TB cases in Singapore last year

SINGAPORE : There was a rise in tuberculosis (TB) cases in Singapore last year compared to 2010.

The Health Ministry reported 1,533 new cases of TB in 2011, compared to 1,478 the year before.

This comes ahead of World Tuberculosis Day on Saturday.

An ageing population, increased travel into Singapore and delaying diagnosis are just some of the reasons cited for the rise in TB cases.



Another area of concern is the rise in multi-drug-resistant TB.

This refers to tuberculosis that is resistant to the two most powerful anti-TB drugs.

There were six new cases of multi-drug resistant TB in 2011, compared to three cases in 2010.

And concerns are growing that the younger population may be more susceptible.

Professor Sonny Wang Yee Tang, director of the Tuberculosis Control Unit, and senior consultant of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, said: "Three or four of our cases are young people, a 19-year-old boy, a 27-year-old girl, a 30-something-year-old man, whereas previous to that in the earlier years that we had multi-drug-resistant TB, they tended to be 45 years old but travelled and lived in areas where we think they got their multi-drug-resistant TB.

"So the fact that these young people in the past two to three years are seen with multi-drug resistant TB without ever having TB before, first-time TB, this could possibly mean that there is transmission already of this kind of drug-resistant TB in Singapore. And that is not a very good sign."

- CNA/ms

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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