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Contact tracing

If you have spent a lot of time close to someone with infectious TB, your local health service may get in touch with you to arrange a check up. This is to see if you have been infected with TB or show signs of TB disease. It is important because you can then start TB treatment if you need it.

Who will be checked?

You will only be asked to come in for a check up if you have spent lots of time with someone who has infectious TB, for example if you are a family member, a close friend, or more rarely, a close work colleague.

If you have not been contacted by your local health service, and are worried that you may have caught TB from a close contact, phone your local chest clinic or GP. They will arrange an appointment for you if necessary.

What happens during the check up?

The doctor or nurse will check to see if you have been infected with TB.

They might ask questions to see if you have symptoms, like:

  • Have you had a cough that won’t go away?
  • Have you had a fever or night sweats?
  • Have you lost weight without trying?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?

You may be offered one or more tests such as:

  • a skin test called a Mantoux Test, this may have to be repeated in 6-8 weeks
  • a blood test
  • a chest X-ray.

The results of these tests will help determine the advice or treatment which is best for you.

Don’t be surprised if different members of your family are not treated in exactly the same way.

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