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Latent TB

This section of the website talks about latent TB. If you have latent TB, you have TB bacteria ‘asleep’ in your body that can ‘wake up’ and make you ill with active TB.

Many people are offered testing and treatment for latent TB, as this is a good way to help prevent getting active TB in the future. This section explains the differences between latent and active TB, why you may be tested for latent TB, what the test involves, and the treatment available for latent TB.

All about latent TB

This section is about latent TB. If you are worried about symptoms that could be active TB – including a cough, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness – please visit the pages about active TB.

what is latent tb

What is latent TB

If you have latent TB you have TB bacteria 'asleep' in your body. You are not ill at the moment, but the TB bacteria can 'wake up' and make you ill with TB in the future. The good news is that you can treat latent TB to help stop this happening.

latent tb and me

Latent TB and me

There are many reasons to get tested for latent TB. You may have lived in a country where TB is more common, know someone who has TB, have an illness or take medication that makes you more vulnerable to TB, or work in a healthcare setting.

latent tb testing

Latent TB testing

Two types of test can diagnose latent TB: a skin test or blood test. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray or investigating sputum/phlegm samples are used to look for active TB.

latent tb treatment

Latent TB treatment

Latent TB can be treated with antibiotics which kill off the sleeping TB bacteria so they cannot wake up andcause active TB. Latent TB testing and treatment is free and confidential.