What is TB?
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the mycobacterium tuberculosis or the tubercule bacillus. It commonly involves
the lungs, but can be spread to other areas of the body.
How do you get TB?
The most common mode of transmission is inhalation of infected droplets. This occurs when a person with active TB coughs,
sneezes, sings, or talks and thousands of the droplets are spread out into the air.
How do you get tested for TB?
The TB skin test is simple. A small amount of tuberculin material is injected intradermally (just under the skin), usually
on the forearm. The person returns 48 to 72 hours later for the test to be read.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can be at risk. Persons whose immune system is weakened or damaged are at high risk. This includes the elderly, diabetics,
those who have received chemotherapy or radiation, intravenous drug users, alcoholics, those with chronic renal failure or
malnutrition. Any person who has been in contact with an active TB case is high risk.
What is the treatment?
Treatment may vary from one medication to four or more. A person who has a positive skin test for TB, may only take Isoniazid
and a vitamin for 6 - 12 months. A person with active TB might be on a course of four medications and may need them for 6
- 12 months.