TB jabs are set to make return
THE RISE in cases of the potentially deadly Tuberculosis disease (TB) has triggered BCG vaccinations for all newborn babies in the borough. National guidelines state this should be implemented if there are more than 40 cases of TB per 100,000 people. Las
THE RISE in cases of the potentially deadly Tuberculosis disease (TB) has triggered BCG vaccinations for all newborn babies in the borough.
National guidelines state this should be implemented if there are more than 40 cases of TB per 100,000 people.
Last year in Barking and Dagenham 70 new cases were reported in the borough - which has a population of 164,572.
In 2007 62 new cases were recorded and in 2006 49 people were diagnosed with TB.
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As of April 1, 2009 any infants who are one-year-old or younger will now receive the BCG jab.
The injection used to be given to all school pupils but was discontinued as it was not the most effective way to combat TB.
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POST readers will remember we reported in December 2008 that TB was found among pupils in Cambell Junior School.
The entire school had to be tested for the potentially deadly infection after doctors discovered "a small number" of active cases there.
Pupils were offered the BCG vaccination as a precaution.
But Mother of two, Lorna Davies, from Dagenham, had to fork out �84 to have her children vaccinated.
Her daughter had started work experience at Cambell School and TB runs in their family so she wanted to take precautions.
Lorna said: "I was told Barking and Dagenham is not a priority area.
"But from these figures it is clear TB is coming back.
"To say our borough is low risk is ridiculous when the numbers are increasing year after year."
At a meeting of the Assembly last week opposition Cllr Richard Barnbrook raised questions about the increase of TB and why the BCG was not universal.
Executive member for children's services, Cllr Jeanne Alexander, assured him all newborn babies would be given the vaccine and there was no need to vaccinate school children as well.
An NHS B&D spokeswoman said: "The advice from doctors at the Health Protection Agency is that universal BCG for children of school age is not effective.
"The best way of protecting school aged children is being aware of the signs and symptoms of TB and where these are found, referring early for investigation."
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) say Tuberculosis is still a "major" public health problem and has said it is a "high priority" for them.
The HPA are asking everyone to be aware of the symptoms of TB which include; fever and night sweats, a persistent cough, weight loss and blood in your spit or phlegm.