Tuberculosis / BCG Clinic

Due to a national shortage of the BCG vaccine, we are currently unable to run TB clinics.


Tuberculosis – BCG Information

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread by drops of saliva from coughs and sneezes.

In 2005, partly due to the low incidence of TB now in the UK, the BCG vaccination , offering around 80% protection against TB, was withdrawn from the childhood immunisation programme.

The incidence of TB however, remains high gobally, particularly within the developing world. In Gambia, for example, the incidence of TB is 260 per 100.000 population.

The Risks

For many travellers, particularly package holiday tourists, the risk of contracting TB, even in high risk area,s is low. It is a difficult disease to catch and generally people who are fit and healthy fight off the infection straight away.

Travellers most at risk are those living in the same house or working closely with an infected person or in a high incidence population, particularly over a prolonged period of time.

The Symptoms

Of those who become infected, some can develop ‘latent’ TB where bacteria lie dormant in the body and become active later, especially if the immune system is weakened.

Others develop ‘active’TB which can take several months to appear and slowly attacks the lungs and sometimes bones or nervous system.

Any of the following symptoms may suggest TB:

  • Fever
  • Coughing for > 3 weeks or coughing up blood
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Extreme tiredness or lack of energy

The treatment

TB is curable, but treatment is vital and usually involves a combination of antibiotics over a long period of time, often around six months.

The Recommendations

Unvaccinated travellers under the age of 35 who are going to live or work in an area where the incidence of TB is greater than 40 cases in every 100,000 are recommended to have BCG vaccination.

Check at the clinic if you may be at risk. Our Travel Health Specialists will be happy to advise you.