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Tuberculosis (TB)

World TB Day 2016
Unite to End TB

Each year, we recognize World TB Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

Too many people in our country and around the world still suffer from TB. Anyone can get TB, and our current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are not sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not "think TB."

The theme of World TB Day 2016 is "Unite to End TB." CDC and its domestic and international partners, including the National TB Controllers Association, Stop TB USA, and the global Stop TB Partnership are working together to eliminate this deadly disease. But we need your help.

Contra Costa County Public Health TB Control is pleased to share with you important information about how we, along with the help of our community partners, healthcare providers and client families, control and strive to eliminate TB in our county. Here is our 2015 report on Tuberculosis in Contra Costa County. You may call the TB Control program directly at 925-313-6740 with questions.

TB is transmitted from person to person through the air when a patient with active TB disease coughs, sneezes or speaks. Because it is air-borne, it is especially important for those living in or traveling to a TB risk area to be aware that they are at risk for the disease, to know the symptoms of TB and to be tested, if they think they have been exposed.

Most people who are infected with the TB germ do not have the active form of the disease. They have no symptoms and are not infectious. However, they carry the germ, which may grow and lead to the active, infectious disease at some time in the future.

What are the symptoms of TB?

Symptoms of TB disease typically include a cough, lasting more than three weeks, accompanied by unintentional weight loss of at least 10 pounds, fevers and night sweats. It is essential for anyone with TB symptoms to consult a health care provider to find out if they have the active disease.

How do you know if you have TB?

TB infection can be diagnosed with two types of tests: a TB skin test (TST), also called a PPD; and one of two blood tests, called IGRAs. We recommend a blood test for anyone who has had a BCG vaccination. If someone has TB infection, but not active TB disease, it can be treated with a special medicine, called INH, taken for 9 months. Consult your health care provider about whether you should have a TB test, and which test is the best for you.

Find out more about where in Contra Costa County to get a skin test or how to see a doctor, or to get more information call Contra Costa Public Health Toll Free at 1-877-405-8573.

For additional information