Did you know that during the past decade there has been an increase in the number of TB (tuberculosis) cases reported in Dallas County?
Tuberculosis is an air-borne disease spread as people with TB speak, cough or sneeze, which propels TB germs from their lungs into the air. Bystanders who inhale just a few of these germs can become infected.
Tuberculosis bacteria can live in the body without making a person sick, which is called latent TB infection. People with latent TB cannot spread the bacteria to others. If a latent TB patient develops full TB disease, they are able to infect others.
Active TB disease symptoms include a cough lasting longer than three weeks, fever, night sweats, or weight loss. Since these symptoms are common to other illnesses, the person may delay seeking care, resulting in spreading the TB bacteria to others.
If you think you have been exposed to TB, contact your doctor or Dallas County Public Health (515-993-3750) for a TB skin test or special TB blood test. Be sure to tell the health care worker if you spent time with a person who has TB disease. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/tb/default.htm for information about tuberculosis, its prevention and treatment.