Warning as case of deadly Victorian disease is detected at a UK school – as pupils screened

An investigation is underway after a case of tuberculosis was found at a school in Wales.

Health officials confirmed a person at the John Frost School in Newport had tested positive for the deadly Victorian infection.

A case of tuberculosis has been confirmed in a Welsh school


A case of tuberculosis has been confirmed in a Welsh schoolCredit: Alamy
The John Frost School in Newport


The John Frost School in NewportPhoto credit: Google Street View

However, they insisted that there was “no indication” that the contract was made while on the premises.

No tuberculosis outbreak has been reported and an investigation is ongoing. Students and staff are screened.

Public Health Wales (PHW) James Adamson said: “This is a routine process and if this reveals other positive tuberculosis infections then appropriate treatment will be offered.”

“TB is difficult to transmit. For a person to become infected, close and prolonged contact with an infectious person is required.”

“In this case, and to limit the possible spread of infection, we are treating all students and teachers who may have had contact with the individual as close personal contacts.

“I would like to emphasize that the risk of contracting tuberculosis for the general public remains very low. However, we encourage parents, students and staff to be aware of the symptoms.”

Around 1,200 students between the ages of 11 and 18 attend the school.

It is understood that the affected person was unaware they were infected when they went to class.

Tuberculosis has been around for thousands of years. From 1600 to 1800, it was responsible for around 25 percent of all deaths in Europe.

It is an airborne disease spread through close contact with infected people.

It usually affects the lungs and can be fatal if left untreated.

Common symptoms include a persistent cough, fatigue, high temperature, and weight loss.

Treatment often includes treatment with antibiotics, but tuberculosis is developing increasing resistance.

Before the pandemic, tuberculosis rates had been falling across the European Region, which includes 53 countries, for nearly two decades.

However, the data shows that the downtrend has been broken for the first time.

About 27,300 people died from tuberculosis in 2021, compared to 27,000 in 2020.

Russia and Ukraine were the two hardest hit countries, with around 4,900 and 3,600 deaths respectively.

But cases and deaths are also rising elsewhere, with some experts blaming the scrapping of vaccination programs.


The childhood BCG vaccine is the most commonly used vaccine worldwide.

However, it is no longer routinely offered to secondary school students in the UK.

Instead, the NHS is only targeting young people deemed to be most at risk.

Further problems arise because immunity does not last beyond the teenage years and no booster vaccine has been developed.

dr Meera Chand, from the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We are working with the NHS to strengthen prevention, detection and treatment.”

dr Jenny Harries, CEO, said last year, “TB is curable and preventable and now is the time to get our elimination efforts back on track.”

“Despite significant progress in elimination in recent years, tuberculosis remains a serious public health problem in the UK.”

Statistics last month suggested tuberculosis could soon overtake Covid as the world’s deadliest infectious disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 10.5 million people will contract tuberculosis worldwide in 2021.

The disease, formerly called consumption, claimed 1.6 million lives.

In the same year, 204 million people tested positive for Covid, of whom 3.5 million died.

While the number of cases rose to 445 million in 2022, the number of deaths fell to 1.2 million.

So far in 2023 there have been 34 million cases and just 222,000 deaths.

As tuberculosis rates remain stable, it suggests the virus will overtake the world’s deadliest virus.

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Based on annual rates, that means 4,109 people die from tuberculosis every day, compared to 1,216 from the coronavirus.

Anyone with ties to the John Frost School who has experienced symptoms should contact their GP or PHW’s health protection team on 0300 00 300 32.

What is tuberculosis and what are the symptoms?

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease spread through close contact with infected people.

It usually affects the lungs and can be fatal if left untreated.

Sometimes there are no symptoms. However, when it does, some of the most common include:

  • A cough that lasts more than three weeks (sometimes with phlegm and/or blood)
  • Feel tired or exhausted
  • High temperature or night sweats
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • General malaise

In addition, if tuberculosis has spread to another part of the body:

  • swollen glands
  • body aches and pains
  • Swollen joints or ankles
  • abdominal or pelvic pain
  • constipation
  • Dark or cloudy urine
  • Headache
  • Be sick
  • Be confused
  • A stiff neck
  • A rash on the legs, face, or other parts of the body

Treatment usually involves treatment with antibiotics, but tuberculosis is developing increasing resistance.

Source: NHS

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ailaslisco@dailynationtoday.com.

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