New TB cases - pub is no threat to health

FOUR more people have contracted tuberculosis (TB) in Weston. The latest cases are believed to be linked to last year's outbreak of the infectious disease in town, according to the Health Protection Agency. Three cases of TB were linked to the Elm Tree p

FOUR more people have contracted tuberculosis (TB) in Weston.The latest cases are believed to be linked to last year's outbreak of the infectious disease in town, according to the Health Protection Agency.Three cases of TB were linked to the Elm Tree public house in Meadow Street, but the pub has since been refurbished and has re-opened under new management and under the new name, The Corner House.The Health Protection Agency last week stressed the pub poses no threat to public health. A spokesman for the agency said: "Tuberculosis is spread by people, not places, and the cases we are seeing are among a wider social circle in Weston."It appears that older men who may be pub regulars have so far been most at risk from this outbreak. "TB can be easily diagnosed and treated, but if neglected, the disease can be life-threatening. "I would urge anyone who thinks they may have the symptoms of tuberculosis to see their GP quickly, so they can receive appropriate medical advice. "We are in touch with those people who have had close contact with the known cases of TB so we can offer them advice and referral to specialist clinics for further investigation."Generally, the number of new TB cases in North Somerset remains very low. As long as any tuberculosis case is diagnosed and treated promptly, there will be no further spread of the disease in the population." A spokesman for Punch Taverns, which owns The Corner House, said: "The authorities have not informed us of any additional cases. "However, if we can offer some assistance with an investigation we certainly will. "We can confirm that Punch invested £130,000 last year to completely refurbish the Elm Tree and greatly improve the facilities on offer there. "It reopened for business in October 2006 with a new licensee at the helm and is trading well."FACT BOX:Tuberculosis (TB) is spread through the air when people who have the disease cough or sneeze.But you need to be in very close contact with an infectious person for many days before you could catch it. Symptoms can include:* A persistent cough that gets progressively worse over several weeks.* Coughing up blood.* Loss of weight for no obvious reason.* Fever and heavy night sweats. * An unusual feeling of being tired and unwell.* Loss of appetite.


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