It is easier to get TB if you have little or no heating and live in damp, dark or dusty conditions without windows you can open. TB bacteria can live for longer in damp and dusty rooms where there’s no fresh air. If it’s dark, the bacteria can’t get killed by sunlight.
Poor living conditions and overcrowding both increase TB risk. Hostels, student halls, prisons, refuges and rented housing with many people living together are all places where TB can spread more easily.
But remember: you can’t get TB by sharing food, plates, cutlery or clothes.
TB and homelessness
If you are homeless, your immune system can get very weak. This means that if you spend time close to someone who has infectious TB, you are more likely to get become ill with TB.
Homeless people who have TB are also likely to be diagnosed late, when they are already seriously ill. Homeless hostels tend to be busy, meaning untreated TB can be passed on to more people quickly.