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Tuberculosis Information for Providers

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For more general information, see our Tuberculosis page.

Overview

Tuberculosis (TB) is a treatable bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It typically occurs in the lungs but can infect any part of the body. Not everyone with TB becomes sick.  Symptoms of the disease include cough, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

TB has 2 stages—latent TB infection (LTBI) and active TB disease.  Many people with LTBI never develop active TB disease. Others progress from LTBI to active TB disease—often due to a weakened immune system.  Active TB disease is life-threatening.

LTBI

  • Do not show symptoms.
  • Do not feel ill.
  • Not contagious.
  • May have positive TB skin reaction and blood tests.
  • Usually have normal chest x-ray.
  • May develop active TB disease, if left untreated.

Active TB disease

  • May show symptoms.
  • May feel ill.
  • May be contagious.
  • Have positive TB test results.
  • If TB is in their lungs, will have abnormal chest x-rays.
  • Need treatment to be cured.

Providers must report any TB infection, latent or active.

Report suspected cases immediately. Visit our Report Notifiable Conditions page, or call the 24-hour reporting line: (253) 798-6534.

Resources for providers

Testing

Treatment

Disease information