Tuberculosis

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Risk Factors

Not everyone who is exposed to TB will become infected, and not everyone who has a latent infection will develop an active infection. The timeframe for greatest risk of progressing to active disease is within the first year after contracting the infection. Some who are at a greater risk of developing active TB include:

  • People who are in close contact with someone who has active infectious TB
  • Immigrants from areas of the world where the incidence of TB is high
  • Children younger than 5 years old who have a positive TB screening test
  • People who work with or are part of groups with high rates of infection such as the homeless, IV drug users or confined populations, such as hospitalized patients, prisoners, and residents of nursing homes
  • People with weakened immune systems such as:
    • Those with HIV/AIDS
    • Those with chronic underlying conditions including diabetes and kidney disease
    • Organ transplant recipients and others on immunosuppressant drugs
    • Pregnant women
    • The elderly

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