World TB Day - latest NDSC figures show decrease in tuberculosis

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The National Disease Surveillance Centre has today (Wednesday) - World TB Day - published figures for the number of tuberculosis cases recorded in Ireland in 2001.

These latest available figures show that there were 381 cases of TB in Ireland in 2001, a 3.5% decrease compared with 2000. 63% of cases occurred in males with 37% amongst females.

63 cases (20.5%) of cases notified were in non-Irish born patients. 

The regional breakdown per health board was as follows:

Eastern Regional Health Authority   173 (45.4%)
Midlands Health Board   7 (01.8%)
Mid Western Health Board   24 (06.3%)
North Eastern Health Board   38 (10.0%) 
North Western Health Board   13 (03.4%)
South Eastern Health Board   20 (05.2%)
Southern Health Board   72 (18.9%)
West Health Board   34 (08.9%)

NDSC specialist in public heath medicine, Dr Paul McKeown said that tuberculosis rates in Ireland remain at a low level. 

"TB continues to be a major global health problem. It is essential that we maintain our close vigilance of this disease and that we continue screening and treatment programmes to ensure that these rates remain low," said Dr McKeown.