Tuberculosis

tb

The Hopkins County Health Department provides Tuberculosis screenings and treatment to residents of Hopkins County. This consists of a symptoms and risk evaluation and skin test if indicated. If treatment is needed, it is provided at no cost to the patient.

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. People with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB bacteria to others.

TB bacteria become active if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. When TB bacteria are active (multiplying in your body), this is called TB disease. People with TB disease are sick. They may also be able to spread the bacteria to people they spend time with every day.

Proper treatment for TB is important to ensure full recovery from active TB and to ensure that Latent TB does not progress to active TB.

Contact the Hopkins County Health Dept. at 270-821-5242 for any questions.