Tuberculosis (TB) Control
The Tuberculin Control Program's main objective is to detect Tuberculosis (TB), both active and inactive for residents of Hamilton County.
What is tuberculosis?
TB is a contagious and potentially life-threatening disease transmitted through the air. While it can affect any part of the body (such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine), TB usually affects the lungs. When first infected with the TB germ, people do not feel sick or have any symptoms. However, they may develop active TB disease in the future.
What is the difference between TB infection and TB disease?
People with TB infection have the TB germ in their bodies but are not sick because the germs are inactive, and therefore, cannot be spread to others. Because these people may develop the disease in the future, they often are given preventive treatment.
People with TB disease are sick from the germs that are active in their bodies. They exhibit symptoms of the disease and, if they have TB of the lungs or throat, can spread the disease to others. Physicians can prescribe drugs to cure TB.
How is a person tested for TB?
The tuberculin skin test is used to find out whether a person is infected with the TB germ. It does not tell whether the person has TB disease. For the skin test, a small amount of fluid--called tuberculin--is injected under the skin in the lower part of the arm. Two or three days later, a health care worker checks the site of the injection to see if there has been a reaction.
What does a positive reaction mean?
A positive reaction to the tuberculin skin test usually means that the person has been infected with the TB germ. It does not necessarily mean that the person has TB disease. Other tests, such as a chest X-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.
For more information about Tuberculosis, click on the links below: