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Tuberculosis (TB) Program
What is Tuberculosis (TB) Disease?
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
When someone has TB disease the bacteria are multiplying and attacking a part of the body, usually the lungs. The symptoms of TB disease include weakness, weight loss, fever, no appetite, chills, and sweating at night. Other symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the bacteria are growing. If TB disease is in the lungs (pulmonary TB), the symptoms may include a bad cough, pain in the chest, and coughing up blood. A person with TB disease can spread the disease to others. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
What is Tuberculosis (TB) Infection?
If someone has a positive TB test but no symptoms of disease and a normal chest x-ray they have TB infection or “latent” TB infection. This means that TB bacteria are alive but inactive in the body. People with latent TB infection have no symptoms, don't feel sick, and can't spread TB to others. The person can develop TB disease if they do not receive treatment for latent TB infection.
Tuberculosis testing is completed by appointment in immunization clinic and for patients in some other clinics. After given the test must be read in 48-72 hours or will have to be repeated.
The care and management of people with a positive TB test or possible TB disease is handled through our communicable disease program. Services for these individuals are provided at no cost to the client.
Two-step TB testing:
Some employers or providers may require you to have a TB test completed twice. This involves getting one test and then a second one 1-3 weeks later.
The CDC explains the reason for this requirement this way: Two-step testing is useful for the initial skin testing of adults who are going to be retested periodically, such as health care workers or nursing home residents. This two-step approach can reduce the likelihood that a boosted reaction to a subsequent TST will be misinterpreted as a recent infection.
For reporting forms and other resources see the provider link on the clinical services page.
Fees and Eligibility
Whether or not there is a charge for a TB test depends on the reason for the test.
Payment is expected at the time of service by cash, check, or debit/credit card.
TB Disease and TB Infection:
All services for treatment and management of individuals with TB disease and TB infection, including all medications, are provided at no cost to the client.
All services are provided regardless of county of residence.
Resources for more information:
Who is at risk for TB: http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/risk.htm