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Tuberculosis patient returns to Whittington after police appeal

TB cases have been on the rise in north London in recent years

28 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Timothy Smith

A TUBERCULOSIS patient at the Whittington has returned to hospital after a police appeal  earlier today  (Tuesday).

Timothy Smith, 66, was receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the hospital in Highgate but left at 6am yesterday before the full treatment could be rendered.

A hospital spokeswoman said tonight Mr Smith had returned to the hospital.

Efforts to find him are continuing, police said, but warned members of the public not to approach him as “he may still be contagious” because his treatment was incomplete.

TB is an infectious disease that normally affects the lungs when bacteria goes into the air when a person coughs or sneezes.

North Central London – an NHS zone including Camden and Islington boroughs – has the highest percentage of new TB cases than any other western European city.

A specialist TB centre was set up at the Whittington in 2014 to stop the rise – it was opened by actress Emma Thompson, who adopted a child with TB.

In August, a member of staff at the centre was diagnosed with infectious “open pulmonary” of TB.

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