How does tuberculosis affect the family and people close to the ill person?

[palaa]If you, somebody in your family or other close persons have lung TB it might spread to others. TB is spread before the sick person has started treatment and some weeks after. The people living in the same household are most at risk to get TB. All who have been infected with TB don’t develop TB illness. Small children, young adults, elderly and people having weak immune system develop more easily TB illness.

How are the close ones examined?


If you or your family members have lung TB which can be spread to others, the close ones like family members, friends or schoolmates are asked to come to the health centre. They are examined to see if any of them has TB or if someone has become infected with TB.

How are the examinations organized?

The nurse interviews everyone. They go through a medical check-up and chest x-ray.  All get information about TB and instructions on where to go if they get symptoms of TB later on.  All sick persons are sent to hospital for treatment. Other adults will have a new check-up with chest x-ray after one year.

Children are sent as soon as possible to a pediatric hospital for TB testing. Additional to the tests for TB illness they are checked with a skin test and blood test for TB infection. The sick children receive immediate treatment. The children who have signs of TB infection without illness can get lighter medication which prevents development of TB illness later on.