Recent statistics indicate that the number of tuberculosis cases in Malta is increasing, and authorities report that most new cases are being diagnosed among immigrants, the Malta Independent reports.
The Public Health Department reported 11 new cases of TB between January and February, compared with three cases recorded during the same time period last year.
According to sources at Malta's St. Luke's Hospital, more than 50 TB cases have been recorded in the country during the first three months of this year. They added that they have identified a number of cases of multi-drug resistant TB.
A total of 29 TB cases were recorded in Malta in 2006, and 11 cases of the disease were recorded in 2005, according to the Public Health Department. Immigrants reportedly are screened for TB when they enter the country.
In 2005, a total of 1,861 immigrants and 912 refugees were screened for TB at the health department's Chest Unit. According to the sources, health officials in Malta have not taken adequate action to control the spread of TB in the country.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation