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.
You 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 or register with a GP to make an appointment. TB is curable and treatment is free to everyone in the UK.