More cases of the potentially fatal infection of TB are expected to come to light in the Wrexham area.

Officials from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board are investigating a number of cases and trying to trace people they have been in contact with.

Concern about the return of the infection is highlighted in the annual report of Teresa Owen, the Board’s executive director of public health, which will be considered by Board members this week.

As late as the 1960s tuberculosis was considered a serious infection which spread rapidly through communities, but it was then controlled through vaccination and other effective treatments.

But according to Miss Owen it has made an “unwelcome comeback”, including more unpleasant and dangerous forms such as multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (EXDR) strains.

“TB more often affects people with complex health and social needs, who may find it harder to access appropriate services,” she says. “This can make it very challenging to successfully find and treat people with TB.”

The Board’s Health Protection Team has been working closely with the respiratory team in the Wrexham area to investigate a number of cases.

“Many of the recent cases have complex social needs including homelessness and substance misuse,” says the report.

“Many of the needs of these individuals have required intense support and co-ordination that has put additional pressures on a range of partners. Identifying social networks in order to trace contacts of cases has also proved to be a challenge.

“Due to the lengthy incubation period of TB and the social context of the cases to date, it is likely that further cases will come to light as the investigations continue.”