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Immigrants accused of increasing cases of tuberculosis

 

Immigrants are accused in a new denigrating article published by The Sun to be behind the multiplication of cases of tuberculosis in Britain.

The Sun took a series of data published by public health body Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and turned them into an attack on migrants.

According to HPS , the immigration boom caused the multiplication of TB cases in Scotland to reach a 10-year high. Official data show that the incidence of lung disease reached at a record level in the last decade, an increase of 44% from 351 in 2001-506 last year, including 42 deaths.

The Sun speculates that the HPS statistics also shows that the number of TB cases attributable to immigrants increased by 287% since 2001: 1 in 10 patients with TB was born in Pakistan, while those born in India, Nigeria, Bangladesh, China and Romania accounted for almost 100 cases.

The new data triggered calls for the introduction of strict health checks for immigrants arriving from parts of the world where TB is still common. HPS reports that a medical evaluation program is "unlikely to be an effective tool."

But Margaret Watt, president of the Scottish Patients Association, said: "We should be able to control these people before coming here." Last year, nearly 300 students at Glendale Primary School in Pollokshields, Glasgow, were investigated after a medical professor developed the disease.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The vast majority of cases involving people who were born outside the UK are not diagnosed until some time after they arrive here. This means we are not seeing infectious, ill people coming into the country and this is why port of entry screening is unlikely to be effective. "

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