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What is tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the TBC bacterium. This bacterium can cause severe infections. The most prevalent form of tuberculosis is lung tuberculosis. Lung tuberculosis can be contagious; this is known as open TBC. More information can be found on the website of the KNCV Tuberculosis fund.

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When are you at risk?

When are you at risk?

You run the risk of tuberculosis:

  • if you have intensive contact with a contagious patient;
  • if you travel to a country where TBC is widespread.

You can take measures to avoid tuberculosis.

How can I become infected?

How can I become infected?

You can become infected with TBC if you have intensive contact with a person who has open TBC. Contamination takes place via respiration. A TBC patient who coughs or sneezes vigorously breathes out many bacteria. About 10% of people who are infected with the TBC bacterium become ill.

Recognising symptoms

Recognising symptoms

The most common complaints in the early stage of the disease are tiredness, listlessness, loss of weight, low-grade fever and night sweats. People with lung tuberculosis cough persistently, sometimes even coughing up blood. In general, treatment for TBC patients is successful in our country. Patients who are not treated, or not properly, can die of the disease. This is why discovering the disease quickly is important.

Do you recognise these complaints? If you do, you should contact your GP. If your GP establishes that you do indeed have tuberculosis, he/she will refer you to the Public Health Service or a lung specialist for treatment

Preventing the spread of tuberculosis

Preventing the spread of tuberculosis

Public Health Service tries to prevent tuberculosis from spreading by: