Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but can attack other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain too. Two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease (active).

Latent TB

A person with latent TB infection has become infected with TB, but their immune system is able to stop the bacteria from growing. People with Latent TB usually have a positive skin test or blood test but have no symptoms and cannot spread TB to others. People with latent TB infection may develop the TB disease (Active TB) if they do not receive treatment for the latent TB infection.

Active TB

A person with Active TB has become infected with TB, and their immune system is unable to stop the bacteria from growing. People with Active TB will usually have a positive skin or blood test and display symptoms and can spread TB to others. Symptoms of TB depend on where in the body the TB bacteria is growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs and may cause extreme coughing for weeks, chest pain, and coughing up blood.


Without treatment, 1 in 10 people with latent TB infection will develop TB disease (CDC).


Symptoms

Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. When it attacks the lungs, you may have symptoms such as:

  • a bad cough lasting 3 weeks or longer
  • chest pain
  • coughing up blood
  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • appetite loss
  • chills
  • fever
  • night sweats

Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. To learn more about Tuberculosis (TB), please visit CDC Tuberculosis. 

Screening 

TB skin testing is conducted by Public Health Nurses at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center (fees apply). Individuals are required to return within 48-72 hours after receiving the skin test to have the test read. Follow up is conducted on all reactive skin tests including latent and active TB. Individuals who test positive for TB may receive assistance with anti-tuberculosis medications.

To schedule an appointment for TB Skin Testing, please contact us.

(573) 335-7846


TB Skin Testing Hours:
Monday: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM*
Tuesday-Wednesday & Friday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

*Second Monday of every month, WIC and Immunizations are open from 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM.

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