Asked by: Janene Bretal
medical health vaccines

What if a family member has TB?

Last Updated: 22nd February, 2020

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What to Do If You Have Been Exposed To TB. If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB disease, you should contact your doctor or local health department about getting a TB skin test or a special TB blood test. Be sure to tell the doctor or nurse when you spent time with the person who has TB disease.

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Likewise, is it safe to be around someone with TB?

It is very important to remember that only someone with active TB disease in the lungs can spread the germ. People with TB infection are not contagious, do not have any symptoms, and do not put their family, friends and co-workers at risk.

how can family members protect themselves from TB? Here are some very important things you should do to prevent spreading your TB germs to other people: Always cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Some people cough less when they drink warm liquids. While at home, spend only a short time in rooms that other people use like the bathroom or kitchen.

Correspondingly, what happens if you are exposed to someone with TB?

It is important to know that a person who is exposed to TB bacteria is not able to spread the bacteria to other people right away. Only persons with active TB disease can spread TB bacteria to others. Before you would be able to spread TB to others, you would have to breathe in TB bacteria and become infected.

How long do you have to be around someone to get TB?

Most people with active TB who've had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.

Related Question Answers

Alayn Vaira

Professional

Dadi Barti

Professional

How can you protect yourself from tuberculosis?

Stop the Spread of TB
  1. Take all of your medicines as they're prescribed, until your doctor takes you off them.
  2. Keep all your doctor appointments.
  3. Always cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
  5. Don't visit other people and don't invite them to visit you.

Geta Palladino

Professional

How likely is it to get TB from a patient?

You can only get infected by breathing in TB germs that a person coughs into the air. You cannot get TB from someone's clothes, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet, or other surfaces where a TB patient has been.

Samuele Onrubia

Explainer

Does tuberculosis run in families?

TB is not a genetic disease, but if a member of the family has it, and there is overcrowding in a home among other risk factors, another family member is more likely to get it.

Abdellali Preto

Explainer

Who is most at risk for tuberculosis?

People at highest risk for developing active TB disease are those with a weak immune system, including:
  • Babies and young children, whose immune systems have not matured.
  • People with chronic conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
  • People with HIV/AIDS.
  • Organ transplant recipients.

Exuperancia Mehler

Explainer

Agusti Oter

Pundit

Can you get TB by sharing a drink?

The TB germs enter the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. TB is NOT spread by shaking someone's hand, sharing food or drink, touching bed linens or toilet seats, sharing toothbrushes or kissing. Not everyone who has the TB germ in their body becomes sick.

Argiñe Carrellan

Pundit

How do you know if you have been exposed to TB?

A positive skin or blood test means you have been infected with the germs—Latent (inactive) Infection. If you have a positive test, you will need a chest x-ray to find out if the germs have caused any damage in your lungs—Active Disease. You may be asked to cough up sputum (mucus) from your lungs to check for TB germs.

Natascia Recaj

Pundit

How long until TB is no longer contagious?

Even before a TB diagnosis, people can unwittingly transmit tuberculosis to others. People with symptomatic TB are contagious until they have taken their TB medications for at least two weeks. After that point, treatment must continue for months, but the infection is no longer contagious.

Georgiy Ruess

Pundit

How long does TB last in the air?

tuberculosis can exist in the air for up to six hours, during which time another person may inhale it. M.

Abdeldjalil Martiañez

Pundit

Is TB infectious or contagious?

Yes, TB is highly contagious and can be transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person, mainly when a person with TB coughs, sneezes, speaks, or even sings (known as airborne transmission or airborne disease). Other people who breathe in the aerosolized bacteria can become infected.

Argia Mansuy

Teacher

What happens if I test positive for TB?

A positive test result means only that TB bacteria has been detected. It does not indicate whether the person has active TB or a latent infection. This requires additional testing, such as a chest X-ray and sputum sample, which tests the thick mucus from the lower respiratory tract.

Khachik Refojo

Teacher

How does tuberculosis enter the body?

When a person gets active TB disease, it means TB bacteria are multiplying and attacking the lung(s) or other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, bones, kidney, brain, spine, and even the skin. From the lungs, TB bacteria move through the blood or lymphatic system to different parts of the body.

Genevie Heiden

Teacher

What is considered a positive TB test?

A tuberculin reaction is classified as positive based on the diameter of the induration in conjunction with certain patient-specific risk factors. In a healthy person whose immune system is normal, induration greater than or equal to 15 mm is considered a positive skin test.

Kamila Marais

Teacher

Does Brain TB spread?

Tuberculous meningitis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). The bacteria spread to the brain and spine from another place in the body, usually the lung. Tuberculous meningitis is very rare in the United States.

Keisy Pellejero

Reviewer

What to do if you were around someone with TB?

If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB disease, you should contact your doctor or local health department about getting a TB skin test or a special TB blood test. Be sure to tell the doctor or nurse when you spent time with the person who has TB disease.

Duane Zschoge

Reviewer

How do I disinfect my house after TB?

Mix one part of disinfectant to 250 parts of water. Household bleach concentration is generally 5-6%. For Tuberculosis, it is recommended a dilution of 1 part of bleach and 4 parts of water (1/5 solution). Follow label directions of the disinfectant.

Aires Sanvicens

Reviewer

Should TB patients wear mask?

Personal respirators should be worn by health care workers to prevent the inhalation of droplet nuclei. Surgical masks should be worn by infectious TB patients to prevent droplet nuclei from being expelled into the air.

Nabila Ceres

Reviewer

Can TB be transmitted through utensils?

TB is spread through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs coughs, sneezes, sings or speaks. Others can become infected by breathing the germs into their lungs. TB is NOT spread by shaking hands, kissing, sex, sharing glasses, plates, utensils, clothing, sheets or furniture.