TB - Who is at greater risk?
Being an infectious condition, certain situations may pose a higher risk of catching the disease. These include:
- Exposure to a family member, friend or co-worker whom you spend a lot of time with, who has an active TB infection.
- Travelling to places in the world where TB is particularly common (high risk areas). These include parts of Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Russia.
- You potentially work with individuals who are homeless, imprisoned, are being cared for in a hospital facility, reside in a nursing home, have HIV infections or are active IV drug users. Infections typically spread easily among such groups of people.
You may also be at greater risk if you have an impaired immune system and are already living with conditions such as:
- HIV / AIDS
- Kidney disease (severe or advanced)
- Malnutrition and low body weight
- Cancers of the head and neck
Immune-suppressant medications can also make some individuals more susceptible to infection. On the list of treatments with increased risk are:
- Chemotherapy (a treatment for cancer)
- Medications taken to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s Disease, as well as those prescribed for individuals having undergone an organ transplant (to prevent organ rejection).
Infants and young children with developing immune systems are also at greater risk of infection.