20 Sep 2018

Changes to the Country Information pages: Tuberculosis

NaTHNaC has reviewed and updated the tuberculosis (TB) country specific information in order to provide up-to-date recommendations for travellers and travel health professionals Changes to the Country Information pages: Tuberculosis

NaTHNaC has recently reviewed the information from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the incidence of TB [1] and rates of Multi Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) [2] in each country. Where no or limited data was available for a country, an expert consensus opinion was formed based on the most recent available information.

Some travellers may be recommended to receive BCG vaccine when travelling to countries where the average annual incidence of all forms of TB was ≥40 cases per 100,000 population from 2014 to 2016 or when the risk of MDR-TB is considered high [2, 3].

Based on the criteria above Guatemala and Suriname no longer have a recommendation for some travellers to receive BCG vaccination.

Advice for travellers

The current UK vaccination programme recommends that people travelling for more than three months where the annual incidence of TB is ≥40 cases per 100,000 population and/or where the risk of Multi Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) is high, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination should be considered for:

  • some children below 16 years of age travelling to countries to stay with friends/family or local people.
  • healthcare workers in settings that are of high risk of exposure to patients diagnosed with TB, particularly MDR-TB [3].

More information about TB can be found here

Advice for health professionals

BCG vaccination is not usually recommended for travellers to countries where the annual incidence of TB incidence is <40/100,000.

BCG vaccination should be considered for some immunocompetent children below 16 years of age and healthcare workers at high risk of exposure to patients diagnosed with TB travelling to countries for more than three months with a presumed or average annual TB incidence ≥40/100,000 and/or where the risk of Multi Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) is high [3].

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