Tuberculosis (or TB) is spread by tiny germs that can float in the air. The TB germs may spray into the air if a person with TB disease of the lungs or through coughs, shouts, or sneezes. Anyone nearby can breathe TB germs into their lungs.
These germs can live in your body without making you sick. This is called TB infection. Your immune system traps TB germs with special germ fighters. Your germ fighters keep TB germs from making you sick.
But sometimes, the TB germs can break away and spread. Then they cause TB disease. The germs can attack the lungs or other parts of the body. They can go to the kidneys, the brain, or the spine. If people have TB disease, they need medical help. If they don’t get help, they can die.
How do I know if I have a TB infection?
A skin test is the only way to tell if you have a TB infection. The test is “positive” if a bump about the size of a pencil eraser or bigger appears on your arm. This bump means you probably have a TB infection.
The TB test can be provided on a walk-in basis, but requires two separate visits within 48-72 hours of each other. There is a $10 fee. For more information on the TB test or tuberculosis click here.