- Serious disease caused by bacteria
- Bacteria goes to the lung first, but can also go to many other parts of the body.
- Found all over the world. Although TB is not common in Canada, there are new cases here every year
- TB infection means the TB bacteria has entered a person’s body, but their immune system has trapped the bacteria by building a wall around them.
- This is also known as “Inactive TB” or “Latent TB”.
- A TB skin test (TST, Mantoux skin test) is used to tell if a person has Inactive TB.
- The person does not feel sick and cannot pass the infection to anyone else.
- The person does not have active TB disease.
- Only 5-10 % of people infected with the TB bacteria will develop TB disease
- TB disease means the TB bacteria are multiplying and the person is sick. This is also called “Active TB”.
- The immune system has not been able to keep the bacteria contained within the walls. Some reasons why this might occur are: poor eating, stress, and medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer and HIV/AIDS
- Persons with active TB in their lungs can spread the bacteria to others
- A person with TB in their lungs coughs or sneezes and the bacteria are forced out into the air.
- You can get TB if you spend long periods of time with a person who has TB, by breathing the air into your own lungs. TB is not very contagious. Close and regular contact is needed.
Signs and Symptoms
A person with active TB may:
- Have a cough that won’t go away
- Not want to eat
- Feel tired
- Lose weight
- Have a fever
- Sweat during the night
- TB infection and TB disease can be cured by taking medicine (antibiotics) every day for 6 to 12 months to kill the TB .
- The Health Unit works with people to make sure that they get the medicine they need free-of-charge, and that they complete the whole treatment.
Tuberculosis is a reportable disease and must be reported to the Local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.