SOUTHAMPTON has been put on alert after a resident contracted a potentially deadly infection.

Residents are to be tested after health bosses confirmed a case of infectious tuberculosis (TB) in the city.

The disease can affect many parts of the body and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) it is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide.

The identity of the person who has contracted TB has not been revealed but Public Health England (PHE) South East said it was arranging for those known to have been in close contact with the individual to be tested for any signs of the illness.

The authority confirmed those people have been notified and advised on common symptoms and steps they should take if they suspect they or a member of their family is unwell.

It is believed that the case was reported in Lordshill, but PHE was unable to confirm or deny this.

Don Thomas, councillor for Coxford ward, said: “This is the first time I have heard of anything like this in my area.

“I would like to reassure the community and I am sure that if there will be similar cases people will be informed as soon as possible

“This is an isolated case at the moment and we want to keep it that way.”

PHE has reassured residents and said the disease does not spread easily.

Dr Anand Fernandes, health protection consultant at PHE South East, said: “TB does not spread easily and is fully treatable with antibiotics.

“TB tends to be passed on only after prolonged close contact with an infectious person over several days.

“It is rare for people other than close contacts to catch the infection from someone who is infectious.

“A thorough investigation will identify close contacts who will be tested and given appropriate treatment, where required.”

Health experts say TB is spread through the air when infectious people who have the disease cough.

Symptoms to look out for include a persistent cough which does not disappear after two weeks, unexplained weight loss and night sweats.

Other signs include coughing up blood, fatigue, fever and chills.

Once rare in developed countries, tuberculosis infections began increasing again from the mid-1980s.

Without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal. Untreated active disease typically affects lungs, but it can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.