Latent tuberculosis is an illness that affects the lungs and can be spread by an infected person coughing and sneezing, which releases germs into the air that other people can breathe in and become infected by. In the majority of cases latent tuberculosis has no symptoms, so the only way to diagnose it is to have a blood test at a GP practice.
Latent tuberculosis germs can remain asleep in the body for a long time with no symptoms. When they wake up, they begin to develop into an extremely harmful illness inside the body called tuberculosis, which in the worst cases can lead to long term ill-health and even lead to death in the most vulnerable patients, such as the elderly and very young.
It is really important that latent tuberculosis is diagnosed and treated, to prevent it becoming active tuberculosis. GP practices across Leicester are therefore offering people who have arrived into the city from these areas in the last 12 months, the free, fast and simple blood test to detect it.
Latent tuberculosis can be treated with antibiotics which will help the body fight the infection and prevent the illness from developing into tuberculosis. Antibiotics may also be prescribed for other people living in the household as latent TB can be passed between family members or people that live in close proximity with one another.
When people begin to experience symptoms it means the germs have woken up and developed into Tuberculosis.
Symptoms of TB can include:
• lack of appetite/not feeling hungry and weight loss
• a high temperature or fever
• night sweats during sleep
• feeling very tired
The testing programme for latent TB is funded by Public Health England and led locally by Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local Public Health.
To have a latent TB test, people need to be registered with a GP in Leicester City. There are also leaflets available with more information from GP practices in Leicester City. To register with a GP, go into a practice in your local area, a list of these can be found at https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/ or call NHS111 who can help you register at a local practice.
For more information log on to NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk or speak to a GP or Nurse for advice.
Latent TB Countries
You can find a link above to a list of the countries that are currently affected. If you have moved from one of these countries then you may be at risk.
Latent TB Videos in other languages