Tuberculosis Risk Assessment
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious disease, but most annual checkups don’t include a TB test. It’s important to know whether you are at risk.
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you may be at risk for TB and should ask your doctor for a TB test. Learn more about TB testing, treatment and prevention.
- Have you had a cough lasting more than three weeks?
TB disease usually affects the lungs. It can cause a bad cough that lasts longer than three weeks, including coughing up blood.
- Have you lived with or spent time with anyone who had or may have had TB?
When a person with active TB coughs, speaks or sneezes, germs spread through the air. Others who breathe in the germs can get TB.
You are most likely to get TB if you spend a lot of time around someone who has TB (for example, if you live, work or go to school with them). You are unlikely to get TB through brief contact, such as being on the same train or bus with a person who has TB.
- Have you lived in or visited any of the following areas for more than a month: Africa, Asia, Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean or Eastern Europe?
TB is more common in these areas, and the risk of being exposed to TB is greater than it is in the United States.
- Do you have HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease or an immune disorder?
People with weak immune systems have a much higher risk of developing TB disease than people with normal immune systems.
If you answered no to all of the above questions, you are probably not at risk for TB . However, remember that TB is airborne, so anyone can get it at any time.