New figures, released ahead of World TB Day (Saturday 24 March) show that cases of tuberculosis in London have risen by 8%.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have revealed that there were 3,588 new cases of TB in the capital, compared to 3,309 the year before. According to HPA TB expert, Dr Sarah Anderson, the increase is partly connected to a rise in homelessness in the city.
"The risk of contracting TB is largely confined to a number of specific groups within London,” Anderson explained. "These include the homeless, problem drug and alcohol users, prisoners, as well as some non-UK born groups because of their links with countries where TB is much more common."
Anderson also stressed the importance of people recognising the symptoms of TB, which include a prolonged cough, fevers and weight loss.
Nationwide, cases of TB went up by 9% in total last year.