Tuberculosis is still frequently found in eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Central and South America. If you are travelling to one of these locations, you are advised to take measures if you:
- will be away for longer than 3 months or if you make regular short trips;
- have a lot of contact with certain high-risk groups. The Public Health Service can advise you about this.
- will be travelling with a child younger than 5 years;
- have a lowered resistance.
Contact the Public Health Service at least 8 weeks prior to your departure (or as soon as possible).
Advice per country can be found on The National Travel Advice Coordination Centre (LCR).
The Public Health Service advises you take the following measures:
- Undergo a Tuberculin skin test or Mantoux test, if necessary, 1 week before and 8 weeks after your trip. If you test positive after your trip (and negative before the trip) you will receive medicine to prevent you from becoming ill. More information about this can be found in the Tuberculin skin test folder (PDF, 33kB) published by the KNVC Tuberculosis Fund.
- A BCG vaccine at least 6 weeks before your departure. This is only possible if you never had a previous BCG vaccine and you were never previously infected with the tuberculosis bacterium.
Children whose parents come from a country where tuberculosis is widespread, and who regularly visit their homeland, are eligible for free BCG vaccination. This is because tuberculosis can make small children very ill.
The Public Health Service advises all travellers to a country with widespread tuberculosis to remain alert, for up to 2 years after their trip, for coughing complaints lasting for more than 3 weeks