Tuberculosis In Africa

Tuberculosis or TB occurs throughout the world and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where it is second only to HIV/AIDS as a cause of illness and death of adults.

Tuberculosis In Africa Map
Darkest colour = highest rates of TB per 100,000 population - CDC map 2020

Tuberculosis Facts

  • Tuberculosis is caused by tubercle bacilli.
  • Tuberculosis most commonly affects the lungs.
  • Tuberculosis is spread from person to person via droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing. On rare occasions, it is spread via contaminated milk in the tropics.
  • TB can only be caught from someone who already has the disease.

Tuberculosis Symptoms

  • Symptoms in active TB may start within a few weeks to many years after the initial infection.
  • Fever and a chronic cough with production of sputum which may be blood-stained.

Summary For African Travellers and Hunters

  • For those travelling and hunting in high-risk areas, BCG vaccination is recommended.
  • After vaccination a small ulcer develops on the skin at the injection site which may take several weeks to heal.
  • Conversion to a positive skin test and development of immunity occurs about 6 weeks after vaccination, so vaccination must be done well before departure.

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Page Updated: Mar 2024

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