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Tuberculosis (TB)

FL Dept of Health in Pinellas - TB Info and Stats

Tuberculosis Control Program

No TB Icon

The purpose of the Tuberculosis Control Program is to:

  • Identify and treat to cure all active cases of TB.
  • Identify and test (also treat if indicated) all individuals exposed to an active TB case.
  • Conduct TB surveillance activities.
  • Provide education on TB disease.

What Is Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis (TB) is an air-borne disease that can be spread when someone who is infectious coughs, sneezes, laughs or sings. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs but can present in almost any part of the body and is then referred to as extra-pulmonary disease. Close contacts can become infected, but it usually requires prolonged exposure from six to eight hours/day for a period of four to six weeks. Other factors like poor air circulation or lack of fresh air allow the bacteria to collect in greater concentrations thus increasing the chance of infection.

What Are the Symptoms of TB?

General symptoms may include feeling weak or sick, weight loss, fever and/or night sweats. Symptoms of TB of the lungs may include cough, chest pain and/or coughing up blood. Other symptoms depend on the particular part of the body that is affected.

Who Gets TB?

Anyone can get TB, but some people are at higher risk. Those at higher risk include:

  • People who share the same breathing space (such as family members, friends, co-workers) with someone who has TB disease;
  • Homeless people;
  • Foreign-born people from countries where a lot of people have TB;
  • Nursing home residents;
  • Prisoners
  • Alcoholics and intravenous drug users (IVDUs)
  • People with medical conditions such as diabetes, certain types of cancers, and being underweight;
  • Especially people with HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS)

World TB Day is Celebrated on March 24