Tower to turn red to mark World TB Day

A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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THE Spinnaker Tower will turn red this weekend to mark World TB Day.

The tower will change colour from 6pm to midnight on Sunday to highlight how tuberculosis has declined 32 per cent across England over the past five years, but rates continue to be high compared to the rest of Western Europe so more work needs to be done to raise awareness about this treatable disease.

Dr Jason Horsley, director of public health at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s important that we continue to raise awareness of TB as it can affect anyone and look like a range of other conditions. The key to effectively tackling TB is for quick diagnosis as this helps to stop it from spreading to others. Unfortunately many people with TB don’t realise they have it, and assume their symptoms are down to something else so they delay going to see their GP. I would urge anyone with symptoms, or who has been in close contact with someone with TB, to see their GP as it’s completely treatable with antibiotics. There is great support available for people with TB at QA Hospital so you shouldn’t be nervous about seeking help.’

Nuala Whitehead, lead TB nurse and service manager at QA Hospital, said; ‘The team and I are so excited that the Emirates Spinnaker Tower will be lighting up red for World TB Day. We know from local data that patients often have symptoms for longer than six months before diagnosis and this increases the risk of spread.’

The common symptoms of TB are: a cough for three weeks or longer; weight loss; loss of appetite; high temperature or fever; night sweats; extreme tiredness or lack of energy.