PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What is a latent tuberculosis (TB) infection?

ANSWER

With a latent infection, you have the TB bacteria, but you don't feel sick and you have no symptoms. You can't spread TB to anyone else. The only sign that you have a TB infection is a positive TB skin test or blood test.

About 5% to 10% of people who have a latent TB infection will eventually get TB disease. Your chance of it depends on your medical history.

From: TB (Tuberculosis) Tests WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Tuberculosis - Diagnosis."

CDC: "Testing for TB Infection," "Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Disease,"  "The Difference Between Latent TB Infection and TB Disease."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Tuberculosis (Beyond the Basics)."

National Jewish Health: "Tuberculosis: Diagnosis."

American Lung Association: "Diagnosing and Treating Tuberculosis."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 15, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Tuberculosis - Diagnosis."

CDC: "Testing for TB Infection," "Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Disease,"  "The Difference Between Latent TB Infection and TB Disease."

UpToDate: "Patient education: Tuberculosis (Beyond the Basics)."

National Jewish Health: "Tuberculosis: Diagnosis."

American Lung Association: "Diagnosing and Treating Tuberculosis."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What are symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) disease?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.