Skip to content

    Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Tuberculosis (TB) - Prevention

    Active tuberculosis (TB) is very contagious. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one-third of the world's population is infected with the bacteria that cause TB.

    To avoid getting an active TB infection:

    Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

    Mesothelioma: Causes and Symptoms

    Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, a protective membrane that lines most of the body's internal organs. Three out of every four cases cases of mesothelioma disease begin in the pleural mesothelium of the chest cavity. Mesothelioma can also begin in the abdominal cavity and around the heart. Regardless of where they originate, malignant cells from the mesothelium can invade and damage nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Often by the...

    Read the Mesothelioma: Causes and Symptoms article > >

    • Do not spend long periods of time in stuffy, enclosed rooms with anyone who has active TB until that person has been treated for at least 2 weeks.
    • Use protective measures, such as face masks, if you work in a facility that cares for people who have untreated TB.
    • If you live with someone who has active TB, help and encourage the person to follow treatment instructions.

    Can the TB vaccine help?

    A TB vaccine (bacille Calmette-Guerin, or BCG) is used in many countries to prevent TB. But this vaccination is almost never used in the United States because:

    • The risk of getting TB is low in the U.S.
    • The vaccine is not very effective in adults who receive it.
    • The BCG vaccine may cause a tuberculin skin test to indicate a TB infection even if a person is not infected with TB. This complicates the use of the tuberculin skin test to check people for TB.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 04, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man coughing
    You may not even know you have it.
    blood clot
    Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
     
    man coughing
    When a cold becomes bronchitis.
    human lungs
    Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.
     

    chest x-ray
    Slideshow
    Bronchitis Overview
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Copd Myth Fact Quiz
    QUIZ
    Energy Boosting Foods
    SLIDESHOW
     

    lungs
    Article
    smokestacks
    Article
     
    woman coughing
    Article
    Lung xray and caduceus
    Article