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Tuberculosis (TB) Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

The Board of Health offers TB screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

The services include:

  • Skin tests
  • Blood tests
  • Chest x-rays
  • Consultation
  • Treatment for latent infection and active disease
  • Monitoring

Appointments preferred. Walk-ins are welcome on a limited basis.


Tuberculosis Q & A’s

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs. But, TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can result in death.

TB was once the leading cause of death in the U.S. However, with increased funding and attention, there has been a steady decline in the number of people with TB since 1993. But TB continues to be a problem.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. 

TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine or brain usually cannot be spread to others.

For most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. The bacteria become inactive, but they remain alive in the body and can become active later. This is called latent TB infection.

TB bacteria can become active if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The active bacteria begin to multiply in the body and cause active TB disease.

People with TB infection have the bacteria that cause TB in their body. They are not sick because the bacteria lie inactive and do not spread to others. Medicine is often prescribed for those with latent TB infection to prevent them from developing active TB disease.

People with TB infection may develop active TB disease. They usually have one or more symptoms. They include fever, a cough that lasts more than two weeks, coughing up blood, weight loss and feeling sick or weak.

Tuberculin skin test: A TB skin test can be done at our center or by your personal physician. A healthcare professional must check the skin test in two or three days. Your body’s reaction to the test reveals whether or not you have been infected with the TB bacteria.

If the skin test is positive, you will be given other tests to see if you have TB infection or TB disease.

TB Blood test: This test uses a blood sample to find out if you are infected with TB bacteria. This test can be done at the TB Clinic. Only one visit is required.

Chest x-ray: A chest x-ray service is made by exposing a film to x-rays that pass through the chest. The doctor can look at this film to see whether TB bacteria have damaged the lungs.

If you have TB infection, you may need treatment to reduce the chance of developing disease. If you have TB disease, it can almost always be treated and cured with medicine. But the medicine must be taken as directed.

The TB Clinic provides testing, diagnosis, infection and disease treatment, monitoring and education.

For more information call:

(404) 294-3700