Tuberculosis (TB) Program

The Ogle County Health Department provides the following services as part of our TB Program.

Services Provided:

  1. TB skin testing.
  2. History and exposure assessment if positive skin test.
  3. Medication management.
  4. Referral & Follow-Up for TB INFECTION.
  5. Education.
  6. Investigation, Surveillance, Medications and Case Management if there is positive TB DISEASE diagnosis.

Please call for an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I be exposed to TB?

2. How do I know if I have a TB infection or disease?

3. What is the difference between TB INFECTION and TB DISEASE?

4. What are symptoms of TB DISEASE?

5. What is the treatment for TB INFECTION or DISEASE?

6. I have heard that someone with TB must go away to a special clinic for many months.

7. After finishing the medications, what will I have to do?

Answers

1. How can I be exposed to TB?
TB is spread by droplets in the air. You can only get infected by breathing in TB germs that a person coughs into the air. You cannot get TB from someone’s clothes, dishes, food, handshake or toilet.

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2. How do I know if I have a TB infection or disease?
A skin test is the only way to know if you have TB infection. The test must be read by a trained nurse who will determine if the result is positive or negative. If it is positive it is suggested that you have a chest X-ray to determine if there is damage to your lungs. If you have symptoms of TB DISEASE, any phlegm that you cough up can also be tested.

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3. What is the difference between TB INFECTION and TB DISEASE?
TB germs can be isolated in your body by your immune system. If you carry these “inactive” germs, and are not sick, you have TB INFECTION. If these germs are activated and begin to multiply and spread, they can attack and damage the lungs or other parts of your body, such as your kidneys, brain or spine. When this happens you have TB DISEASE. You will experience symptoms and you can now spread the disease to others.

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4. What are symptoms of TB DISEASE?
Symptoms of TB DISEASE can be: weakness & fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, chills or fever, or night sweats. The most common symptom is a severe cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks. This cough is usually productive, and you may cough up blood or have chest pain when you cough. If you have TB disease you need to see your doctor!

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5. What is the treatment for TB INFECTION or DISEASE?
There are antibiotics which can prevent TB INFECTION from becoming TB DISEASE. These same antibiotics can also cure TB DISEASE.. These medications MUST be taken for six to nine months to be effective. These medications also have strong side effects, and so it is important to be under the care of a doctor, and to follow the instructions of the TB Nurse.

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6. I have heard that someone with TB must go away to a special clinic for many months.
If you have TB DISEASE you may need to spend a few days in the hospital. But if you take your medications as ordered, you can go home and quickly return to work or school. If you only have TB INFECTION, you will not go to a hospital at all, and you do not need to miss any work or school.

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7. After finishing the medications, what will I have to do?
It is very important that you tell EVERY doctor whom you go to that you have had either TB INFECTION or DISEASE, and also what medications you took. This will be important for the rest of your life! Also, once you have tested positive for TB you will always test positive, and so you should not have another test.

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