Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by infection with the bacteria (germ) Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
TB can infect a person’s lungs or other parts of the body and make you unwell.
TB can be cured if adequately treated with antibiotics.
How it spreads
- TB is spread through the air when a person with TB in the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or speaks, sending germs into the air.
- When other people breathe in these germs they can become infected.
- Most people get TB germs from someone they spend a lot of time with, like a family member or friend.
- TB is not spread by household items (for example by cutlery, crockery, drinking glasses, sheets, clothes or telephone) so it is not necessary to use separate household items.
All services related to diagnosis and treatment of TB are provided free and confidentially.
In NSW, BCG vaccine is recommended for children less than five years who will have prolonged or frequent travel to high TB incidence countries and newborn children of parents with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) or a family history of Hansen’s disease.
Clinics operate regularly at central locations, and you will be contacted by the closest clinic to make these arrangements once your request has been received.
You can complete the Request for BCG vaccination form via the NSW BCG webpage.
This is delivered by special TB medical and nursing staff and includes clinical assessment, Tuberculin Skin Test, laboratory tests and medical imaging.
Other services include routine screening for TB and diagnosis/exclusion of TB and treatment where required such as:
- contact of TB
- latent TB infection (LTBI)
- Tuberculosis health undertaking (TBU) referrals
- routine screening for people at high risk of developing TB.