Back to Homepage Disease Prevention Section Emergency Preparedness Section Environmental Health / Restaurant Inspections Section Public Health Nursing Services / Immunizations Section Nutrition Services / WIC Section
| Home | A–Z Index | Birth Certificates | Disease Prevention | Emergency Prep. | Environmental Health | Immunizations | Jobs | Links | Nursing | Nutrition | Offices |

Tuberculosis (TB)

Chest X-Ray

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from contagious disease in the world. Each year about 1.7 million people die from this curable disease, but if not treated properly, it can be fatal. Overall, one-third of the world's population is currently infected with the TB bacteria.

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. People who are not sick have what is called latent TB infection. Most people who have a latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. However, some people with latent TB infection go on to develop active TB, and then they do become infectious.

Like the common cold, TB spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing. Only people who have active TB disease are infectious. When infectious people cough, sneeze, talk or spit, they propel TB germs into the air. A person needs only to inhale a small number of these to be infected.

TB is not spread by shaking hands; sharing food or drink; touching bed linens or toilet seats; sharing toothbrushes; kissing; smoking; or sharing cigarettes.

Symptoms may include a bad cough that lasts over three weeks; coughing up blood or phlegm; or chest pain. Other symptoms may include weakness or fatigue; weight loss; chills or fever; and night sweats. People with active TB disease can be treated and often cured if they seek medical help.

Left untreated, each person with active TB disease will infect on average between 10 and 15 people every year. Fortunately, even people with latent TB infection can take medicine so that they will not develop active TB disease.

People who have HIV/AIDS along with TB infection are much more likely to develop active TB. Someone who is HIV-positive and infected with TB is many times more likely to become sick with TB than someone infected with TB bacteria who is HIV-negative. Worldwide, TB is a leading cause of death among people who are HIV-positive.

If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB disease, you should contact your doctor or local health department about getting a TB skin test.

Call 303-451-0123 for testing information in the Tri-County area.

Tuberculosis Elimination (CDC)
TB Skin Test
US Rates and Fact Sheets (CDC)

En Español / In Spanish:
Información Sobre TB

Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis:
Multi drug resistant TB (MDR TB) is resistant to at least two of the best TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampin. Th
ese are considered first-line drugs and are most often used to treat people with active TB.

The most important thing a person can do to prevent the spread of MDR TB is to take all of their medications exactly as prescribed by their health care provider. No doses should be missed and treatment should not be stopped early.

Health care providers can help prevent MDR TB by quickly diagnosing cases, following recommended treatment guidelines, monitoring patients’ response to treatment, and making sure therapy is completed.

World TB Day 2010

World Tuberculosis Day:
World TB Day, held on March 24 each year, is an occasion for people around the world to raise awareness about the international health threat presented by tuberculosis. It is also a day to recognize the collaborative efforts of all countries involved in fighting TB.
World Tuberculosis Day

Tuberculosis can be cured, controlled, and, with diligent efforts and sufficient resources, eventually eliminated

Call 303-451-0123 for TB testing Information

Related Tri-County Pages:

A–Z Index of Topics and Services
Annual Reports
Community Health Data
Disease Prevention and Control
En Español / In Spanish
Flu - Seasonal Influenza Information
Flu Shots
Minority Health Services
Nursing Services
STD / HIV Testing
Travel Immunizations

Important Links:
Cultural Competency Guide
State Health TB Program
TB Brochure
TB Brochure - Español
TB Cases in Colorado
TB Elimination (CDC)
TB Self-Study Courses
TB Self-Study Modules
TB Skin Test
Think TB Posters

PDF files can be viewed and printed
with the free Adobe Reader