October 17, 2017
Students who live in, or have arrived in the UK from, or have spent time in a
country or area with high levels of TB are advised to have a blood test to screen for Latent TB.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has produced a world map showing countries with high rates of TB
After enrolment students will be contacted via email to advise them to make an appointment with the TB Nurse at the University Health centre to attend for the blood test sometime during Oct/Nov.The blood test appointment and treatment if necessary afterwards is completely FREE.
The TB Nurse will be on campus for the blood tests on 24th and 26th Oct
Latent or active TB
In most healthy people, the immune system is able to destroy the bacteria that cause TB.
However, in some cases, the bacteria infect the body but does not cause any symptoms (latent TB), or the infection begins to cause symptoms within weeks, months or even years (active TB).
Up to 10% of people with latent TB eventually develop active TB years after the initial infection.
This usually happens either, within the first year or two of infection, or when the immune system is weakened
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can get TB, but those at greatest risk include people:
• who live in, come from, or have spent time in a country or area with high levels of TB – around three in every four TB cases in the UK affect people born outside the UK
• in prolonged close contact with someone who’s infected
• living in crowded conditions
• with a condition that weakens their immune system, such as HIV
• having treatments that weaken the immune system, such as chemotherapy or biological agents
• who are very young or very old – the immune systems of people who are young or elderly tend to be weaker than those of healthy adults
• in poor health or with a poor diet because of lifestyle and other problems, such as drug misuse, alcohol misuse, or homelessness
Testing for latent TB
• In some circumstances, you may need to have a test to check for latent TB – where you have been infected with TB bacteria, but don’t have any symptoms.
• For example, you may need to have a test if you have been in close contact with someone known to have active TB disease involving the lungs, or if you have recently spent time in a country where TB levels are high.
• If you have just moved to the UK from a country where TB is common, you should be given information and advice about the need for testing. Your GP may suggest having a test when you register as a patient.
Latent TB is where you have been infected with the TB bacteria, but do not have any symptoms of active infection.
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