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Am I at risk of TB?

TB is rare in the UK and most people don’t need to worry about it, particularly if their health is generally good. Your greatest risk of catching TB is through spending a lot of time with people who have TB bacteria in their lungs or throat which they pass on by coughing or sneezing.

Measuring reaction to a TB skin testYou also have a greater risk of catching TB if you:

  • were born in or have links to countries with high rates of TB, including those in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian sub-continent and parts of eastern Europe
  • live in an area where there are a lot of people with TB, for example certain areas in London
  • are or have been homeless or live in poorly ventilated or overcrowded housing
  • have a weakened immune system, for example as a result of another illness or condition
  • are HIV positive
  • are dependent on or regularly use drugs or alcohol
  • have been in prison.

If you are worried you might have caught TB, please see your doctor. TB is curable and treatment is free to everyone in the UK.

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