Information for the public
Treating latent TB
If tests show that you have latent TB (see tuberculosis) and you are 65 or under, your TB team should offer you antibiotics to prevent this progressing to active TB disease. Treatment usually lasts 3 or 6 months. If you are 35–65, you should only be offered treatment if a doctor thinks there is little risk of liver damage. The TB team should assess you to see if any factors in your life may make it difficult for you to take your treatment. If, for example, you are homeless or you misuse drugs or alcohol, they should put you in touch with support services.
Newborn babies (4 weeks or younger) who are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for TB in their sputum and hasn't had at least 2 weeks of anti‑TB treatment should be assessed by a doctor for active TB and treated for latent TB for 6 months. Anyone under 2 years should be assessed for active TB and should be offered treatment immediately. They shouldn't have to wait for test results. Further tests and treatment should be given as needed.