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Home » News and events » News archive » News archive 2016 » Get tested for Latent TB - for free

Get tested for Latent TB - for free

Are you new to the area, or do you know someone who has recently settled here from abroad? New patients in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire could be eligible for a simple check that might save them from developing Tuberculosis.

Otherwise known as TB, Tuberculosis can be fatal if not treated properly. It can develop after lying dormant in the body for lengthy periods of time, often without any symptoms. In this dormant or ‘sleeping’ form, it is called Latent TB.

Dr Gary Howsam, Chair and Chief Clinical Officer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, says: “Latent TB screening can pick up on ‘sleeping’ forms of TB before they wake up. If this sleeping TB is discovered in your body we can treat it – and prevent you from having active TB in future.

“Local GP practices are offering this test because sleeping TB bacteria can make you very ill, if they ‘wake up’ and become active. When you hear people talking about TB this is usually what they mean. However, these bacteria can sleep in the body for many years without making you ill, or producing any symptoms. So if you qualify for screening but feel fine, please do still contact your GP.

“I would urge anybody who qualifies for screening to make an appointment as soon as possible. It’s just a quick blood test and a few simple questions, which could ultimately save lives and help prevent this awful illness from spreading in our community.”

Latent TB screening is available to those who: 

  • are aged 16-35;
  • have settled in the UK within the last 5 years;
  • have lived in one of the following countries, where cases of TB are common;
    • Afghanistan
    • Cambodia
    • East Timor
    • India
    • Kenya
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Zimbabwe


If you meet the above criteria and would like to have Latent TB screening, please speak to your GP practice receptionist to book an appointment.

For more information about latent and active TB, you can visit the following websites:
• www.thetruthabouttb.org/latent-tb 
• www.nhs.uk/conditions/tuberculosis