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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Facts for Health Care Workers

Populations at Risk for Tuberculosis

Groups at Higher Risk for TB Exposure or Infection

Persons who are at higher risk for exposure to or infection with M. tuberculosis include

  • Close contacts of persons known or suspected to have TB disease
  • Foreign-born persons, including children, from areas that have a high TB prevalence
  • Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings
  • Some medically underserved, low-income populations as defined locally
  • High-risk racial or ethnic minority populations, defined locally as having an increased prevalence of TB
  • Infants, children, and adolescents exposed to adults in high-risk categories
  • Persons who inject illicit drugs; any other locally identified high-risk substance users
  • Health care workers who serve high-risk clients.

Groups at Higher Risk for Developing TB Disease Once Infected

Persons who are at higher risk of developing TB disease once infected with M. tuberculosis include persons with

  • HIV infection
  • Recent infection with M. tuberculosis (within the past 2 years), particularly infants and very young children
  • Medical conditions known to increase the risk for disease if infection occurs
  • Current use of injecting illicit drugs; other groups of high-risk substance users
  • History of inadequately treated TB disease.

HIV infection is the strongest known risk factor associated with the progression from latent TB infection to TB disease.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
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