Tuberculosis is a disease caused by tiny germs that are put into the air when a person who is sick with TB disease cougs, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone nearby can breathe in these TB germs and get TB infection.
TB will usually affect the lungs of the infected individual, but it can also sometimes affect other parts of the body.
When TB is left untreated, the TB infection can turn into TB disease. TB disease can make you very sick.
What can you do?
1. Get a TB skin test at your healthcare provider or your local health department. The skin test allows the doctor to know if you have ever had TB germs in your body. You may be asked a series of questions for screening purposes before given a TB skin test. If your screening questions show that you have not been at risk for TB infection, you may not actually receive the skin test. You will however, receive the completed screening form in case your employer requires a copy to have in your employee file.
2. Return to the office or clinic in 2 to 3 days (48-72 hours) if you received a TB skin test. This is so the health care provider can read your TB skin test.
3. If you have TB infection or TB disease, you will need to take TB medicine as your health care provider says.
For more information on Tuberculosis (TB), click CDC’s Tuberculosis (TB) Webpage