Tuberculosis (TB)

Effective June 1, 2011, the Mobile County Health Department TB Clinic will no longer provide TB skin tests. This is in accordance with new Alabama Department of Public Health policy. Please consult your personal healthcare provider or institution. (ADPH-CPM-TB June 2011 policy revision)

·         251 North Bayou Street , Building 4-5

·         7:30 am- 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday

·         251-690-8143

·         Fax: 251-690-8161

Mission of the MCHD TB Control Program:

To control TB by rapidly identifying cases of TB in the community and ensuring they receive adequate treatment through the use of Directly Observed Therapy. In addition, program staff seeks out individuals exposed to infectious TB cases and evaluates them to halt disease transmission.

Services Provided by the TB Clinic:

· Active TB Disease case management

· Latent TB Infection treatment

· Contact Investigations for active TB cases

· TB Education*

 *Please call the TB Clinic for more information about brochures, presentations and TB educational opportunities


What is TB?

Tuberculosis (often called TB) is an infectious disease caused by a mycobacterium that usually attacks the lungs, but can attack almost any part of the body.

How could you become infected with TB?

Tuberculosis is spread from person to person through the air.  If someone has active TB disease in their lungs or throat and coughs, laughs, sneezes, sings, or even talks, the germs that cause TB may be spread into the air. If another person breathes in these germs, there is a chance that he or she may become infected with tuberculosis.

It is not easy to become infected with tuberculosis. Usually a person has to be close to someone with active TB disease for a long period of time. TB is usually spread between family members, close friends, and people who work or live together. TB is spread most easily in closed spaces over a long period of time.

What is the difference between active TB disease and latent TB disease?

Active TB Disease

Latent TB Infection

Skin test or blood test is usually positive

Skin test or blood test is often positive

Chest X-Ray is usually abnormal (pulmonary)

Chest X-Ray is normal

Person could pass the TB germ to others

Person cannot pass the TB germ to others

Usually has symptoms

Does NOT have symptoms

Has a 50% chance of dying without treatment

Has a 10% chance of developing TB disease


What are the symptoms of active TB disease?

 A person with latent TB infection will have no symptoms. A person with active TB disease may have any, all or none of the following symptoms:

• A cough that will not go away

• Feeling unusually tired all of the time

• Unexplained excessive weight loss

• Persistent fever

These symptoms can also occur with other diseases.  It is also important to remember that a person with active TB disease may feel perfectly healthy or may only have a cough from time to time. If you think you have been exposed to TB, please contact the TB clinic.


What is the treatment for TB?

Treatment for TB depends on whether a person has active TB disease or only latent TB infection. A person who has become infected with TB, but does not have active TB disease, may be given preventive therapy. Preventive therapy aims to kill the TB germs that are not doing any damage right now, but could do so in the future.

If a person should need preventive therapy, the usual prescription is a daily dose of isoniazid (also called "INH"). The person takes INH for six to nine months, with monthly checkups to make sure the medicine is being taken as prescribed.  This treatment is offered through our TB Clinic.

If the person has active TB disease, then treatment is needed. Today, TB can be treated with very effective drugs.

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