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Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program

Minimizes the incidence of Tuberculosis through case finding, diagnosis and treatment of active cases, contact investigation, screening, directly observed therapy and education, and assessment for HIV/TB/STD linkage. Free of charge.


Q1. What causes TB?

Answer: TB is caused by bacteria that usually infect the lungs, but it can affect other parts of the body too.

Q2. What are the symptoms of TB?

Answer: Symptoms of TB disease include fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, a persisent cough and (sometimes) coughing up blood.

Q3. How is TB spread?


TB is spread in the air. TB gets in the air when a person who has TB disease coughs, sneezes or speaks. You cannot get TB by touching things that someone with tuberculosis has handled.

You cannot get TB from someone that has what is termed an  "ID" infection (a positive skin test, but no symptoms).

Q4. What is the test for TB?

Answer: There is a simple skin test called a Mantoux, or tuberculin test. A small amount of fluid is injected under the skin, and the site is checked 2-3 days later for a reaction.

Q5. What does a positive TB test reaction mean?

Answer: A positive reaction means that a person has TB germs somewhere in his body. They have the infection but not necessarily the disease. They are usually not a risk to others.

Q6. What should I do if f have a positive TB test reaction?

Answer: A chest x-ray is needed to determine if TB disease is present. If the chest x-rays show suspicious signs, you should have a complete medical exam, including sputum studies.

Q7. How is TB treated?

Answer: If you have TB infection, you can be prevented from getting TB disease. You will be given a medication that must be taken daily for 6 months. If you have TB disease you are given two or more drugs that must be taken for 6-12 months.

Q8. Where can I be tested if I think I have symptoms or have been exposed to TB?

Answer: Sullivan County Public Health Nursing has a TB Control Clinic that offers testing, as well as treatment for TB infection.