The Pocahontas County Health Department Tuberculosis Program tests high risk individuals for Tuberculosis and serves to decrease the spread of the disease.
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs. But, TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. People who are not sick have what is called latent TB infection. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. But, some people with latent TB infection go on to get TB disease.
People with active TB disease can be treated if they seek medical help. Even better, most people with latent TB infection can take medicine so that they will not develop active TB disease.
What can we do for you?
The PocahontasCounty Health Department provides tuberculin testing for contacts and other high risk persons. We also provide x-rays for evaluation of active disease and latent TB infection (LTBI) through our clinics. Clinicians provided chest diagnostic clinics to evaluate/treat active disease and LTBI. We provide medications as well as financial support to do Liver Function Tests for TB cases and LTBI patients. We work with the WV Division of Tuberculosis Elimination and the WV Office of Laboratory Services to provide AFB smear and culture testing, drug susceptibilities and DNA fingerprinting of specimens.
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