Often classified as a historical disease, many don't know about one fourth of the world's population fights an active tuberculosis (TB) infection every day. TB can be deadly, especially in patients who are already infected with HIV. In the United States alone, more than 9,000 cases were diagnosed in 2017.
Each year an average of two cases of active TB are diagnosed in south central Idaho. An average of 91 clients per year are seen in the public health TB clinic.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The infection can start and spread to any part of the body.
Not everyone infected will become sick. In fact, TB infections are split into two categories: latent TB infection (non active and non contagious) and TB disease. Without treatment TB disease can be fatal.
South Central Public Health District helps to screen and treat tuberculosis in the Twin Falls office. The building is designed with a special room to insure any active infections caught during the screening won't spread to anyone else in the building. If you test positive it doesn’t necessarily mean you are contagious. Nurses at SCPHD offer diagnostic testing, treatment, and consultation services for clients with tuberculosis.