Find out the facts about TB by visiting Walthamstow market today - World TB Day (24 March)

Public Health specialists will be setting out their stall to raise awareness of the disease.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest is using World TB Day on Thursday 24 March to raise awareness of the steps being taken to combat TB.

TB can either be latent or active. It is a bacterial infection spread by breathing in tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes of someone with active TB. People have to spend prolonged periods, normally over eight hours in close contact with someone with active TB to catch the infection.

Latent TB is when a person has the bacteria in their body but does not show any symptoms and does not feel unwell. A person with latent TB cannot pass the infection on and it can be treated with a course of antibiotics.  However, if untreated a person with latent TB can become ill with active TB later on, which is contagious. This is why people invited to TB screening are being urged to attend.

As part of the awareness raising programme the council are hosting a special information stall at Walthamstow Market on Thursday 24 February 10am - 4pm. People will be able find out the myths and facts about TB and how to identify the signs of the disease.

Those most at risk of catching TB are those who:

  • live in, come from, or have spent time in a country or area with high levels of TB
  • have prolonged close contact with someone who is infected
  • live in crowded conditions – with multiple people sleeping in one room
  • have a condition that weakens the immune system, or are very young or very old
  • are receiving treatments that weaken the immune system, such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy
  • in poor health or with a poor diet because of lifestyle and other problems, such as drug misuse, alcohol misuse, or homelessness.

More information can be found here.