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Tuberculosis (TB)

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What is TB?

Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease. Infections usually affects the lungs but can happen in other parts of the body. TB is one of the most common illnesses in the world. There are around 10 million new cases every year.

Rates of TB infection are much lower in the United States. In Washington State, we average about 200 cases per year.  In Pierce County, the number is between 15 and 25. The disease is also very treatable with the right medication.

What we do:

The Health Department works with local partners to provide the following services:

  • Investigate all reports of suspected TB.
  • Make sure patients with active TB are isolated, treated and cured.
  • Make sure TB patients take their medication.
  • Test and treat people that are exposed to others with active TB as needed.
  • Screen new refugees and immigrants for TB and get treatment for those infected.
  • Provide testing and treatment for uninsured Pierce County residents at risk for getting TB.
  • Provide TB education to community members and healthcare workers.
  • Provide medical consultation.

Resources

Visit the CDC’s TB Prevention webpage for more information.

You can also click on the questions below to see answers to frequently asked questions.

FAQs

  • What are the symptoms of TB?
  • What is latent (sleeping) TB infection?
  • What is TB?
  • What is active TB?
  • Who is at risk for TB infection?
  • Who is at risk for active TB?
  • How do I get tested for TB?
  • Where can I get a TB test?
  • What if I have been exposed to TB?
  • How do I know if I have latent or active TB?
  • What if I have been infected with TB?
  • What if I have TB disease?
  • Is there a vaccine for TB?