Tuberculosis


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What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that are spread through the air like the common cold.

After breathing in the bacteria, a person may develop what is called a latent TB infection (LTBI), where there are no symptoms, or TB disease (also known as active TB), where there are disease symptoms. About 10% of people who are infected will become sick and develop active TB over time.

What is my risk?

For most travellers, the risk of developing LTBI and active TB is low.

Activities that can increase risk include:

The risk of TB infection is higher for travellers with a history of active TB and those who have come into close contact with individuals having known or suspected active TB.

Those with a weakened immune system such as those with HIV, children under five years of age, those taking steroid medication or those with diabetes mellitus are at a greater risk of TB infection developing into active TB.

How is it transmitted?

What are the symptoms?

Can tuberculosis be treated?

Both LTBI and active TB can be treated with TB drugs (antibiotics).

Where is tuberculosis a concern?

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

1. Reduce your risk:

2. Speak to a health care provider:

3. Monitor your health:

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