Tuberculosis cases are on the rise with the borough recording a 15 per cent increase in infections.

In the 12 months between 1999 and 2000, 120 cases were reported 15 more than during the previous year.

However, initial reports that the bug was claiming its victims among young clubbers and bar-goers have been dismissed by the Public Health Laboratory Service.

A PHLS spokeswoman said: "TB is by no means only associated with people going clubbing. Out of about 70 cases, only a couple have associated it with going out to clubs. We are certainly not warning people not to go out clubbing."

She added: "The strain is thought to be increasing because of the rise in migration. With world travel becoming more popular, people are going abroad to work and are bringing the infection back from other countries. Also, people are increasingly coming to the UK from countries with a high prevalence of TB."

The infection, which is commonly spread through coughing, sneezing or spitting, can be spotted by symptoms of fever, coughing and weight loss and has been found to be increasing in males aged 25-64 years.