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Tuberculosis illustration

What is tuberculosis?

This horrible bug usually attacks the lungs, causing a cough that lasts a long time, weight loss, fever, night sweats, and chest pains.

Tuberculosis illustration

Risk areas for Tuberculosis

Map of risk areas for Tuberculosis
  • Key fact

    TB is one of the 13th leading cause of death worldwide.1 1 in 4 people in the world carry the bacteria that causes TB in their body but do not become ill. This is called “latent TB”.1

  • How do you get tuberculosis?

    By breathing in droplets from the coughs and sneezes of someone infected with the bacteria that cause the disease.1

  • Which countries are affected by tuberculosis?

    You can catch TB almost anywhere, but the majority of new cases are in South-East Asia, the Western Pacific, and Africa (see map).1,2

  • What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?

    Symptoms can be mild and last for many months. They include a persistent cough (sometimes with blood), fever, chest pains, night sweats, weight loss.1

  • How serious is tuberculosis?

    TB can generally be treated with antibiotics. If it’s not treated, it may get worse and can be fatal.1 It is particularly serious for people whose immune system is compromised, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes.1

  • Can I prevent getting tuberculosis?

    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
    • Ensure that anyone who has been in contact with someone with TB is checked by their doctor, especially children.

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  1. World Health Organization. Factsheet. Tuberculosis. April 2023. Available online: (Last accessed May 2023)
  2. World Health Organization. Global Tuberculosis Report. 2022. Available online: (Last accessed May 2023)

UK-BOTB-2100026 (v2.0) May 2023