This horrible bug usually attacks the lungs, causing a cough that lasts a long time, weight loss, fever, night sweats, tiredness, loss of appetite and swellings in the neck.
Many people in the world carry the bacteria that cause TB but do not become ill. This is called “latent TB”.1
How do people catch the disease?
By breathing in droplets from the coughs and sneezes of someone infected with the bacteria that cause the disease.1
Which countries are affected?
You can catch TB almost anywhere, but some countries in Africa and Asia are particularly high risk (see map).2
What are the symptoms?
Persistent cough, sometimes with blood, fever, chest pains, night sweats, weight loss.1
How serious is the disease?
TB can generally be cured with antibiotics. If it’s not treated, it may get worse and can be fatal.3
Can I reduce the chances of catching the disease?
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:
- Visit your nearest convenient pharmacy or specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Tuberculosis. March 2017. Available online: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/
(Last accessed September 2017)
2. World Health Organization. Tuberculosis, estimated new cases, 2010. Available online: http://gamapserver.who.int/mapLibrary/Files/Maps/Global_EstimatedTB_ITHRiskMap.png (Last accessed September 2017)
3. Public Health England. Immunisation against infectious disease. The Green Book. Chapter 32. Tuberculosis. April 2013. Available online:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tuberculosis-the-green-book-chapter-32 (Last accessed September 2017)
UK/TRA/0817/0171r September 2017