Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease spread from person to person through the air. When a person with Active, or infectious TB coughs, sneezes, or speaks, other people may become infected when they breathe in the TB germ.
People who inhale the TB germ become infected with TB—this does not mean they have active TB disease. If you have been exposed to someone with TB and suspect you may have been infected, you should see your provider.
A TB skin test or a blood test, together with a physical exam, lab tests and chest x-ray, help determine if someone has been infected with TB. A person who has a positive TB skin test or blood test may have latent TB infection (LTBI) or active TB disease. When a person has been diagnosed with LTBI, they should be treated so they decrease their risk of developing active TB disease later.
Persons with active TB disease must also be treated. With a 90 percent or more cure rate, treatment for active TB disease is safe, effective in saving lives and improving health, and decreases the risk of spreading the disease to others.
In the past year more people in the YK-Delta have been diagnosed with TB than in previous years, but when we look at historical trends, the current TB rate is nothing out of the ordinary. Our rate of TB currently is comparable to inner cities in the United States.
TB testing at YKHC is available throughout the region both at the hospital and village health clinics.