Tuberculosis (TB) is a communicable disease caused by the TB germ. When a person who has TB coughs, laughs, sings, or breathes, TB germs pass into the air where they can be inhaled by someone else, and the disease may be spread. TB is not spread by sharing food or kissing.
Latent tuberculosis is when a person is infected with the TB germ but does not have the disease. They can take a medicine to decrease their chances of getting sick later.
People with active TB may be so sick they die. However, TB is treatable with a combination of medicines. It is very important for the treatment to be done correctly to cure TB and to prevent the development of drug resistance. Directly observed therapy is the standard of care for TB treatment.
TB Skin Tests
TB screening tests are available for $20. Testing is done by appointment only on Wednesdays from 9:45 to 11:45 am. If a skin test is placed, the patient must return on Friday to have the skin test read.
Work, school, or immigration vlearance vhest x-rays are available for $25 by appointment only.
Call 512-972-5460 to schedule TB skin tests or chest x-rays.
Treatment for TB
Treatment for active TB or preventive treatment for latent TB is provided free of charge. Treatment usually lasts six to nine months,
Reporting and Control
The State of Texas Health and Safety Code requires doctors, labs, and hospitals to report cases of active TB. TB workers screen people who have been exposed to active TB to prevent further cases of TB. Screening usually starts with a questionnaire administered by a TB worker and a TB skin test. For patients with positive skin results, an appointment is scheduled in the TB clinic for a chest X-ray and evaluation by a physician.
Austin Public Health will comply with all federal and state laws that pertain to any aspect of the clinical practices or business procedures of the Department. In particular, privacy and security rules relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with related state laws, are integral to matters of privacy, medical records, the confidentiality of communications, and other topics addressed throughout these policies and procedures (PDF).