Anyone who thinks he or she might have been exposed to tuberculosis can request a skin test. If the result is positive, our clinic offers testing, education, and any necessary treatment or case investigation to prevent others from being infected.
Below you will find more information on tuberculosis, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, as well as other helpful resources.
If you have additional questions, please call our Community Health & Case Management Services division at (260) 449-7556.
What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection generally transmitted person to person from the infected respiratory droplets of a person with active TB disease. When individuals with TB cough, laugh, sneeze or talk, the germs are released into the air. If another person breathes in these germs, there is a chance they will become infected. TB is not spread by shaking hands, sharing utensils or touching bed linens or toilet seats of someone infected.
Some people develop TB disease soon (within weeks) after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria. Other people may get sick years later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason. Many people with TB infection never develop TB disease.
TB usually affects the lungs, but can sometimes affect other parts of the body. It can cause death if not treated with medicine.
Latent TB Infection & Active Disease
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. This is called latent TB infection.
People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. They are also not infectious and cannot spread TB bacteria to others. However, if TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply, the person will go from having latent TB infection to being sick with TB disease.
Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a form of TB infection that is caused by bacteria that is resistant to at least two of the most powerful TB medications. General symptoms of TB include: fatigue, unexplained weight loss, chills, fever and night sweats. If the disease is in the lungs it can also include a prolonged cough (with or without blood), chest pain and shortness of breath. Most often, people exposed to an active TB case are infected with latent TB infection (LTBI). People with LTBI have the bacteria in their bodies but are not actively sick because the bacteria are controlled by the immune system. People with LTBI don’t have symptoms and aren’t contagious. However, to minimize the risk of latent TB ever progressing to active TB disease, the Department of Health offers treatment to kill the small number of viable bacteria.
Signs and Symptoms
The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. TB disease of the lungs will also result in a cough lasting more than 3 weeks, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.
Diagnosis and Treatment
TB is a treatable and preventable disease with proper screening and medical treatment to prevent active disease. Most people won’t know if they have TB infection unless they get tested. A skin test is the way to find out if a person has been exposed to TB.
There is more than one type of TB skin test; however, the preferred method is the Mantoux test. For this test, a small amount of testing material is placed just below the top layers of skin, usually on the arm. Two or three days later, a certified staff member examines the arm to see if a bump has developed. If the bump is a certain size, the test is positive and the person has a TB infection. A chest X-ray is done to determine how bad the infection is.
The Allen County Department of Health offers TB skin test and related services. For individuals who have a positive TB skin test, we may require a chest x-ray to rule out active tuberculosis. Services will be charged, as needed.
Any diagnosis of TB requires immediate reporting to the Department of Health. Our nurses and staff investigate each case of TB disease in the community, in workplaces, in our schools and other institutional settings and will take necessary public health interventions to minimize the risk to others. We also work to stop the spread of the disease by monitoring individuals who have been exposed to the bacterium or, especially, who have active cases of tuberculosis.
Clinic Location and Hours
Patients are seen BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
The Department of Health’s clinic is located in the Medical Annex at 4813 New Haven Avenue. Parking is free and the clinic is located along a Citilink bus route, Bus #10. The clinic is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except on holidays observed by Allen County Government.
To schedule an appointment:
- Call 449-7504 and press option #1. Calls are answered beginning at 8 a.m. each day, Monday-Friday.
- Call for pricing details.
Below are links to videos and publications on TB-related topics.
My TB Story: Jill
My TB Story: Humberto
My TB Story: Mat Sa Lin
- CDC Tuberculosis Page
- Difference Between Latent TB and TB Disease (CDC)
- TB Can Be Treated (CDC)
- What You Need to Know about Medicine for Latent TB Infection-Isoniazid (CDC)
- What You Need to Know About Your Medicine for Latent Tuberculosis (TB) Infection-Rifampin (CDC)
- WHO Tuberculosis Page
- ISDH Tuberculosis Page
- TB Frequently Asked Questions (DOH)
- Global Tuberculosis Institute (New Jersey Medical School)
- TB Consortium of Allen County