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How do you prevent the spread of tuberculosis?

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If you have active TB of the lungs, you can infect other people. For that reason, your doctor will tell you to stay home during the first few weeks of treatment, until you’re no longer contagious. During that time, you should avoid public places and people with weakened immune systems, like young children, the elderly, and people with HIV. You’ll have to wear a special mask if you have visitors or need to go to the doctor’s office.

Or your health care provider may admit you to the hospital until TB germs are no longer expelled in your cough. You may be hospitalized for a longer period if you cannot reliably take your medications, do not have stable housing, or have a multidrug resistant strain of TB. The goal is to prevent the spread of the disease.

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CDC: “Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis” and “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

Minnesota Department of Health: “Home Respiratory Precautions for Patients with Potentially Infectious Tuberculosis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 24, 2019

SOURCES:

Brian W. Christman, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

CDC: “Questions and Answers About Tuberculosis” and “Tuberculosis.”

American Lung Association: “Learn About Tuberculosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tuberculosis.”

World Health Organization: “Tuberculosis.”

Minnesota Department of Health: “Home Respiratory Precautions for Patients with Potentially Infectious Tuberculosis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 24, 2019

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Why do some people with tuberculosis not have symptoms?

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