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Tuberculosis Quarantine Infographic | SSG

Posted on March 31st, 2021   |   SSG

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FAQs: Questions about Tuberculosis

What is tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. TB spreads through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings, and another person inhales the bacteria. It is important to note that not everyone who is infected with TB will develop the disease, and some people may have latent TB infection, which means they have the bacteria in their body but do not have active symptoms and cannot spread the disease to others. Active TB disease can cause symptoms such as cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue. TB is treatable with a combination of antibiotics, but it requires a prolonged course of treatment, and failure to complete the full course of treatment can lead to drug resistance and the development of more severe forms of the disease.

How long is the quarantine period for tuberculosis?

“The quarantine period for tuberculosis (TB) varies depending on the type of TB infection and the individual’s response to treatment. For individuals with active TB disease, they are usually considered contagious for the first few weeks after starting treatment until the symptoms begin to improve and the bacteria become less active. During this time, it is recommended that the individual avoid close contact with others and take precautions such as covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. In some cases, the individual may need to be hospitalized or placed in isolation until they are no longer contagious. For individuals with latent TB infection, there is no quarantine period, but they may need to undergo treatment to prevent the infection from becoming active in the future. It is important to note that the specific quarantine period and management of TB will depend on the individual’s situation and the recommendations of their healthcare provider.

Why is it important to get vaccinated against tuberculosis?

There is currently only one vaccine available for tuberculosis (TB) called the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine. The BCG vaccine is recommended in some countries for infants and children who are at high risk of developing TB, but it is not widely used in many other countries, including the United States, because it does not provide complete protection against TB. However, it is important to note that vaccination is just one aspect of TB prevention and control. The most effective way to prevent the spread of TB is to identify and treat people who have active TB disease, so they don’t pass it to others, and to provide preventive treatment for people with latent TB infection to prevent them from developing active disease in the future.

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