Recently Cumbria Partnership NHS Trusts specialist TB nurses led Cumbria’s first ever TB conference for health professionals in Penrith.

The purpose was to increase awareness of the risk TB poses to our rural communities. While Cumbria is classified as a low risk area for TB, the risk of infection is still there, and through increasing awareness by events such as this, it will serve to alert health professionals to potential risks. 

Mairi Black, a TB specialist nurse said:

“The aim for this conference was to encourage healthcare professionals to take the knowledge they have learnt from the event and keep it in mind when identifying symptoms that might indicate a diagnosis of TB. It was great to have such a good number of health professionals come along to our first Cumbrian TB conference and hopefully learn something new that they can put into practice with patients. This increased awareness will also allow those few that do contract TB in Cumbria to get diagnosed and prescribed medication quicker.”

30 health professionals attended the conference, made up of around 26 health delegates and a few professional speakers.

TB infections often develop slowly, some taking several weeks, months, or even years, for symptoms to occur, and there are various different types of TB that can get contracted:

Pulmonary TB – that affects the lungs
Extrapulmonary TB – that occurs outside of the lungs
Latent TB- TB bacteria lie dormant in the body they don’t cause any harm in their sleeping state but “can wake up “ if someone’s immune system is affected by either some types of illness or the ageing process itself.

For more information on TB visit the The NHS website.