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Who Should be Tested

Certain people should be tested for TB infection because they are at higher risk for becoming infected with TB bacteria

Certain people should be tested for TB infection because they are at higher risk for being infected with TB bacteria, including:

  • People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
  • People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
  • People who live or work in high-risk settings (for example: correctional facilities, long-term care facilities or nursing homes, and homeless shelters)
  • Health-care workers who care for patients at increased risk for TB disease
  • Infants, children and adolescents exposed to adults who are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease

Many people who have latent TB infection never develop TB disease. But some people who have latent TB infection are more likely to develop TB disease than others. Those at high risk for developing TB disease include:

  • People with HIV infection
  • People who became infected with TB bacteria in the last 2 years
  • Babies and young children
  • People who inject illegal drugs
  • People who are sick with other diseases that weaken the immune system
  • Elderly people
  • People who were not treated correctly for TB in the past

TB tests are generally not needed for people with a low risk of infection with TB bacteria.

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