Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease. It is caused by the tuberculosis bacteria. TB mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body. People with infectious tuberculosis can transmit the bacteria to others by coughing and sneezing.
The most common symptoms of tuberculosis are coughing (sometimes with blood), fever, fatigue, weight loss and night sweats. If you have these symptoms, ask your GP whether you require a referral to the Municipal Health Service.
Difference between being infected and being ill
If you have become infected with the tuberculosis bacteria, you will usually not be ill. Approximately ten percent of infected people will actually develop tuberculosis. This may occur a few months after infection, but may also be many years after infection. You are more likely to get ill if you have a compromised immune system due to a condition or medication.
Greater risk of infection
Some people are more likely to become infected with the tuberculosis bacteria:
- People who have been in the same room with someone with infectious tuberculosis. If this applies to you, check whether you are eligible for contact tracing
- People who travel to areas where tuberculosis is prevalent, such as Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. If this applies to you, contact us to discuss what you can do to protect yourself.