Tuberculosis (TB) Clinic
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an airborne disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other organs. People infected with TB do not feel sick, do not have symptoms and are not contagious unless and until their infection develops into active TB disease. TB bacteria may be released into the air by TB-diseased persons when they sneeze, cough or speak. Click here to learn more about TB in Louisville.
Tuberculosis Control Program & Clinic
UPDATE: The Tuberculosis (TB) Clinic, 400 E. Gray Street, is temporarily closed due to significant damage from indoor flooding. Learn more about Health Department flooding and available services here.
Services & locations:
Our Tuberculosis Clinic provides diagnostic and treatment services for Jefferson, Bullitt, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties. Our services include:
- Risk assessments
- Screening contacts for exposure (Tuberculin Skin Test/Quantiferon Plus blood test);
- Chest x-ray services;
- Obtaining sputum and other specimens for laboratory analysis;
- Medications or prescriptions provided for treatment;
- Monitoring by a licensed medical professional;
- Monitoring adherence to treatment or therapy regime;
- Providing social services to ensure completion of treatment or therapy;
- Providing Directly Observed Therapy by a licensed medical professional at a site suitable for the patient;
- Providing consultation on diagnosis and treatment to physicians, nursing homes, social service agencies, hospitals, and others.
- Contact investigations
The difference between TB Disease and TB Infection
Once the TB germ enters the body, infection occurs. However, most people's immune systems can usually stop the TB infection from growing, which sends the TB germ into an inactive state. An inactive infection does not cause sickness or symptoms and cannot be transmitted to others. Still, a person with TB infection will test positive for TB and may develop TB disease in the future without preventive therapy.
If the immune system cannot render the TB germ inactive, the infected person will have active TB or TB disease. People with TB disease in the throat or lungs can easily spread the TB bacteria. People with TB disease in the brain, kidneys or spine cannot spread the TB bacteria and are not infectious.
If you have active, uncomplicated TB disease, you must complete a six- to 12-month treatment with three to four TB drugs that must be prescribed by a doctor.
Symptoms of TB
- A bad cough lasting more than two weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pains
- Fatigue or weakness
- Poor appetite and weight loss
- Night sweats
Learn more about TB including who’s at risk, who should be tested, and what testing and treatment consists of here.
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