If you have lived in a country where TB is common there is about a 1 in 4 chance that you have breathed in TB bacteria which are now ‘asleep’ in your body. These sleeping TB bacteria, known as latent TB, can ‘wake-up’ at any time to make you ill. The good news is that latent TB can be treated with antibiotics before the TB bacteria can wake up and make you ill.
If you are:
- Age 16-35
- Have lived in England for less than 5 years
- Have come from: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Cambodia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, East Timor or any other countries highlighted dark blue on the map above and lived there for more than six months or longer
- Not been screened for TB in UK before
You are eligible for free blood test at your GP surgery for Latent TB. It will involve a quick test and a few simple questions. Having this test will not affect your status in the UK and the results of the test will only be used for health purposes. You must be registered at local GP practice.
- TB is an illness caused by airborne bacteria (germs)
- TB bacteria can sleep in your body often for many years without making you ill
- Most people with latent TB have no symptoms
- TB bacteria can ‘wake up’ and make you ill with active TB
- You can still develop latent or active TB after you have the BCG vaccination.
- Chest x-rays cannot see latent TB. So you could have latent TB even if you
have had a clear chest x-ray.
Speak to your GP receptionist now to find out more. GP services are free, confidential and open to everyone. If you’re not yet registered with a GP, find a local practice at: www.nhs.uk
Further information and support
Get information and advice about latent TB from TB Alert, the UK’s national tuberculosis charity, on
The Truth About TB website at: www.thetruthabouttb.org/latent-tb