Tuberculosis(TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by a bacteria that can affect many parts of the body but most commonly affects the lungs. It is estimated that over 9 million new cases occur around the world every year. Most travellers are not at high risk of infection.

Symptoms

Persistent cough, weight loss, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, fatigue

How do you catch tuberculosis?

TB is caught most commonly from someone who has the form affecting the lungs, through coughing, sneezing or spitting. The risk is higher when longer periods of time are spent living or working with an infected person.

Incubation period

4 – 12 weeks

Diagnosis

Blood tests and sputum tests confirm the diagnosis, along with X-rays.

Prevention

Avoid overcrowded places and close contact with infected people in regions where the risk is high. The BCG vaccine can be offered to help protect against the disease, but a skin or blood test is needed to check there is no obvious or hidden (latent) infection first

Treatment

A combination of antibiotics is needed. Treatment normally lasts for at least six months.