Tuberculosis — Infection vs. Disease


Tuberculosis (TB) Infection and Tuberculosis Disease mean two very different things and they’re easily mixed up. So, what’s the difference between TB Infection and TB Disease?

TB Infection (aka latent TB)

  • Positive TB skin test but normal chest x-ray
  • TB germ has entered the body but is not growing
  • No symptoms
  • Not contagious
  • Risk of developing disease in the future
  • May take medication to stop disease from developing

 TB Disease (aka active TB)

  • TB germ has entered the body and is growing
  • TB skin test not always positive but chest x-rays could show abnormalities
  • Symptoms (cough, chest pain, chills, weakness, weight loss, night sweats, coughing blood)
  • Contagious (can spread to others)
  • Must take medication to stop disease from getting worse and spreading to others

 For more information please contact us at
519-355-1071 ext. 5902


About Author

Registered Nurse --- Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Comments are closed.