Tuberculosis (TB)

As visitors to refugees and asylum seekers we should be alert to the
possibility of being exposed to TB.

Important facts

• TB is easy to diagnose with an X-ray.
• TB can be treated effectively with medication.
• People with latent (i.e not active) TB are not infectious and cannot spread
TB infection to others. Overall, without treatment, about 5-10% of infected
persons will develop TB disease at some point in their lives. About half of
those people who develop TB will do so within the first two years of
becoming infected.
• Someone who is coughing and who has active TB is likely to be infectious if
they are not taking medication or if they have very recently started
• Most people who get infected with TB have spent more than 8 hours in
close day-to-day contact with an infectious person.
• Someone who has been diagnosed with active TB of their lungs and has
had 3 negative sputum samples sent to the laboratory is no longer deemed
infectious and can lead a normal life. However it is important to continue
taking the medication for the prescribed length of time or the TB may recur
in a resistant form.

1.The Group will not take referrals of anyone known to have active
pulmonary TB until they have been deemed un-infectious.
2.If a client or a visitor develops a persistent cough or chest infection,
he or she should be encouraged to see a doctor and to get a chest
3.If you are concerned about your current personal susceptibility to
infection, you may wish to discuss the advisability of visiting a
particular client with the Coordinator.