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How is Tuberculosis spread?
TB is spread when people with an active case of the disease cough, laugh or sneeze and spread microscopic droplets into the air. Others may become infected if they inhale these droplets. Only people with active infectious TB can spread it to others. Only about half of TB cases are infectious.
What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?
These can be:
• Weight loss
• Sweats in afternoons or nights
• Persistent cough not responding to medication
Less common symptoms can be:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Blood in sputum
Symptoms in babies:
• Failure to thrive
• Symptoms of Meningitis
Who is at risk?
Most countries have high TB rates except those in Australasia, North America and Western Europe. BCG vaccination is unnecessary in most travellers. High risk groups may be advised to have a BCG if they are going to work in a clinical role with known TB patients, working in a TB laboratory, healthcare facilities and other areas of potential high exposure such as prisons and homeless shelters. Children under 5 travelling to live in countries of high TB prevalence may be recommended to have the vaccine.
How to avoid Tuberculosis
If you are travelling to live and work in high risk areas for a long period of time, there is a BCG vaccination available. Please contact your Worldwise Travel Health specialist for further information.
Further information about Tuberculosis
The Mantoux and BCG vaccination process is a little complicated and is only handled by a specialist. Please contact your Worldwise clinic for further information.
Please note that the recommendations given are general guidelines as to what may be required for a trip to these countries. However, they really do depend on many factors of your travel itinerary and medical history. All travellers are strongly advised to make an appointment to see a WORLDWISE Travel Doctor for up to date advice (including a vaccination plan and anti-malaria recommendations) tailored specifically to your upcoming trip.
Remember, our Travel Health Specialists are travellers too and have probably been to the region that you are going to. They appreciate the importance of enjoying a problem-free trip and of staying healthy abroad.