About TB

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  • People who are infected with TB, but are not treated, can spread it to others they come in regular, close contact with.
  • The most common form of TB is spread through the air.  When an infected, untreated, person coughs & sneezes, the germs are sent into the air.  People can then breathe them and become infected themselves.
  • The lungs are the most commonly effected part of your body, but it can effect other areas.
  • TB can be cured in most cases with the use of a full course of antibiotics.
  • People who are not taking antibiotics, or have been taking them for less than 7 – 10 days, can infect other people and should be isolated until they are no longer contagious.
  • People who visit a person in isolation for TB must wear a special mask to prevent infection.
  • It is ESSENTIAL that people take the full course of antibiotics that a doctor gives them even if they start feeling better.  The disease can then come back and/or become resistant to the medication.

People become infected with TB when they have:

  • contact with people who have active, untreated TB germs in their lungs or throat cough or sneeze, sending their germs into the air. People who breathe these germs into their lungs can become infected.
  • very close, day-to-day contact with someone who has TB. That’s why most people get TB germs from someone they spend a lot of time with, like a family member, friend, or close co-worker.

You’re not likely to get TB from:

  • someone coughing in the subway or at a restaurant.
  • sharing dishes, utensils, sheets, clothing, or other inanimate objects.


  • A cough that last a long time
  • Fevers
  • Constant tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood (occasionally)

*Adapted from NYC DOH Bureau of TB Control

Understanding the Basics

People of all ages, all nationalities, and all incomes can get tuberculosis (TB). In almost all instances, with modern medicine tuberculosis can be cured.

What is tuberculosis?

TB is a disease that can damage a person’s lungs or other parts of the body and can cause serious illness.

How is TB spread?

TB is spread when people who have active, untreated TB germs in their lungs or throat cough or sneeze, sending their germs into the air. People who breathe these germs into their lungs can become infected.

People who breathe in TB germs usually have had very close, day-to-day contact with someone who has the disease. That’s why most people get TB germs from someone they spend a lot of time with, like a family member, friend, or close co-worker.

You’re not likely to get TB from someone coughing in the subway or at a restaurant. TB is not spread by sharing dishes, utensils, sheets, clothing, or other inanimate objects.

What does it mean to have latent TB infection?

Latent TB infection means that the TB germs are in the body but are not active.

When a person inhales TB germs, in most cases, body defenses control the germs by building a wall around them the way a scab forms over a cut. The germs can stay inside these walls for years, alive but not active. While TB germs are not active, they can’t do damage, and they can’t spread to other people. This person is infected, but NOT sick. He or she probably won’t even know that he or she is infected.

Millions of Americans have latent TB infection. For most of them, the germs will never become active.

What is active TB disease?

Tuberculosis disease is a serious illness caused by active TB germs.

It is possible to get TB disease shortly after the germs enter the body if body defenses are weak. It is also possible, even after many years, for inactive TB germs to become active when body defenses are weakened. This may be the result of aging, a serious illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or HIV infection.
When defenses are weakened and inactive TB germs become active, the germs can then break out of the walls, begin multiplying, and damage the lungs or other organs.

If people with TB disease do not take their medication, they can become seriously ill, and may even die. But people with TB can be cured, if they have proper medical treatment and take their medication as prescribed.

What is drug-resistant TB?

There are times when TB germs are “resistant” to one or more of the TB medicines most often prescribed by doctors. This means that the medicines are not able to kill the TB germs. When this happens, combinations of other TB medicines are given to the patient. Drug-resistant TB can take longer to cure than regular TB, but most patients can be cured.

Drug-resistant TB can develop if people with active TB take their medicine incorrectly, or if they have not been given the right TB medicines. A person with untreated drug-resistant TB of the lungs or throat can spread drug-resistant germs to other people.

What are the signs of TB?

TB can attack any part of the body, but the lungs are the most common target. People with tuberculosis disease may have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • A cough that last a long time
  • Fevers
  • Constant tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood (occasionally)

People with active TB disease may have only mild symptoms. They may be spreading their germs to others without even knowing that they have TB.

What are the tests for TB?
  • The tuberculin Mantoux skin test shows if a person has been infected.
  • Quantiferon TB test gives result very rapidly
  • A chest x-ray is given if the Mantoux skin test shows that a person has been infected. The x-ray shows if any damage has been done to the lungs.
  • A sputum test shows if there are TB germs in a person’s lungs. Sputum is phlegm from deep inside the lungs.
Who should get tested for TB?
  • People who have symptoms of active TB
  • People who have spent a long time with someone who has active TB disease (a family member, friend, or co-worker)
  • People who have HIV infection, lowered immunity, or certain medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic kidney failure
  • People who have worked or lived in a homeless shelter, prison, or other group setting
  • People who have come to the U.S. recently from a country with a lot of TB
Can TB patients infect other people?

Usually, after a week or more of taking effective medication, most patients with TB disease will stop spreading germs. A doctor will test the patient and then decide when the patient is no longer contagious. Most TB patients live at home and can continue their normal activities as long as they are taking the TB medicine.

How can we fight TB?

The best way to fight TB is to make sure that people who need medicine take it regularly. They include:

  • People who are sick with TB. These people have active germs and can infect others. The ONLY way people with TB disease get well is to take medicine as directed.
  • People who are infected but are not yet sick. These people have inactive germs that are walled off. These people may not be sick now, but the TB germs can become active later on in life and make them sick. Taking medicine for treatment of latent TB infection for several months, as prescribed by the doctor, is the best way to get rid of TB germs and prevent illness. However, in some instances, medicine for treatment of latent TB infection may not be prescribed to some people because of certain medical conditions or other factors.
  • People who are close contacts to people with active TB disease, regardless of age. These people should take medicine to prevent TB as directed by the doctor.

En Haitian Kreyol:

Nenpòt moun kapab contacté TB

Kisa Tibèkiloz (TB) la ye?
Tibèkiloz se yon maladi grav ki andonmaje poumon w. Sepandan, ou kapab prevni Tibèkiloz avèk tretman.  Tibèkiloz kapab geri tou.
Kijan jèm tibèkiloz (TB) la simaye?
Jèm Tibèkiloz simaye nan lè. Si w pase anpil tan ak yon moun ki TB, ou kapab respirejèm Tibèkiloz. Sa rive lè moun nan touse, estènye, pale, oubyen ri.  Jèm Tibèkiloz simaye nan lè sèlman. Yo pa transmèt lè w bay lanmen oubyen lè w sèvi ak menm vè oubyen fouchèt moun ki TB a. Yo pa simaye lè w chita sou yon chèz twalèt oubyen si w kouche sou kabann yon moun ki TB. Se lè w respire jèm Tibèkiloz la li kapab antre nan kò w.
Kisa Ki Rive Lè Yon Moun Gen Tibèkiloz?
Lè ou fèk respire jèm tibèkiloz nan poumon, kò w bati yon mi toutotou jèm yo pou l ka pwoteje w. Sa fè jèm yo al “dòmi” epi bloke yo pou yo pa kontinye andomaje kò w.  Jèm Tibèkiloz k’ap dòmi yo rele “Tibèkiloz inaktif,” e moun ki gen tibèkiloz inaktif, yo di yo fè enfeksyon Tibèkiloz inaktif. Jèm Tibèkiloz inaktif kapab rete ap dòmi pou lontan, pafwa pou tout yon vi. Moun ki gen Tibèkiloz inaktif p’ap santi yo malad. Yo
pa kapab simaye Tibèkiloz bay lòt moun.
Sepandan, pafwa jèm Tibèkiloz yo “reveye” epi kò w pa ka pwoteje w. Lè sa rive, ou genyen Maladi Tibèkiloz Aktif. Sa ka fè w santi w malad anpil. Ou kapab transmèt Tibèkiloz bay lòt moun tou.
Moun ki genyen Tibèkiloz aktif kapab genyen sentòm sa yo:
✔ Touse pou 3 semèn ou plis
✔ Lafyèv oubyen frison
✔ Swe lannuit
✔ Pèdi pwa
✔ Santi fatig tout tan
✔ Pèdi apeti
Èske genyen yon Tès pou Tibèkiloz?
Wi. Genyen yon tès Tibèkiloz senp yo fè nan po w nan klinik ou a. De oubyen 3 jou apre tès po a, ou dwe retounen nan klinik la. Yon travayè sante ap tcheke bra w. Si tès la “negatif,” li posib ou pa genyen Tibèkiloz.
Si tès la “pozitif,” ou pral bezwen yon radyografi pwatrin ou. Li pral montre si jèm Tibèkiloz yo ap dòmi oubyen si yo reveye. Si jèm yo ap dòmi, ou genyen Tibèkiloz inaktif. Si jèm yo reveye, li posib ou genyen Tibèkiloz aktif epi ou pral bezwen yon egzamen medikal.

Èske mwen dwe fè tès Tibèkiloz nan po a?

Sa depan. Kèk moun genyen yon pi gwo risk pou yo pran Tibèkiloz. Yo dwe fè yon tès po. Pi souvan, kèk lòt moun pa bezwen tès po.

Ou dwe fè yon tès po si:

✔ Ou genyen sentòm Tibèkiloz aktif

✔ Ou te pase lontan bò kote yon moun ki genyen Tibèkiloz aktif

✔ Ou pa genyen lontan depi w soti nan yon peyi ki genyen yon to Tibèkiloz elve

✔ Ou genyen kèk maladi tankou sik oubyen maladi ren kwonik

✔ W ap viv oubyen w ap travay nan yon prizon, kay pou moun ki san kay, oubyen kèk lòt kote ki genyen gwoup

✔ Ou genyen SIDA

E si mwen te pran vaksen BCG?

Vaksen BCG pa toujou pwoteje moun kont Tibèkiloz. Moun ki te pran vaksen BCG kapab genyen Tibèkiloz inaktif oubyen Tibèkiloz aktif. Di doktè w la si w te pran vaksen BCG. Ou kapab toujou bezwen tretman.

Tibèkiloz Kapab Trete

Èske Tibèkiloz aktif kapab trete?

Wi. Tibèkiloz aktif kapab trete ak medikaman. Si w genyen Tibèkil oz aktif, ou dwe pran medikaman w omwen pou 6 mwa. Depatman Lasante ofri yon pwogram yo rele DOT (tretman pa obsèvasyon dirèk: directly observed therapy). DOT fè lè w ap pran medikaman sa vin pi fasil.

Poukisa mwen bezwen pran medikaman kont Tibèkiloz pou lontan?

Sèl fason pou w trete Tibèkiloz aktif se lè w pran tout medikaman w yo pou 6 mwa.  Pran pasyans, jèm Tibèkiloz pran lontan pou yo mouri. Menm si w santi w byen apre kèk semèn, ou dwe kontinye pran medikaman w. Si w pa pran l’, ou pral sispann santi w byen. Ou kapab menm vin pi malad.

Si m’ pran medikaman kont Tibèkiloz èske m’ ka toujou simaye jèm Tibèkiloz?

Non. Apre kèk semèn tretman, pi fò moun pa simaye jèm Tibèkiloz. Doktè w la ap di w ki lè sa pa genyen danje si w pase tan ak zanmi w oubyen fanmi w. Pi fò moun k’ap pran medikaman kont Tibèkiloz ap viv lakay yo epi y’ale travay. Sepandan, kontinye pran medikaman w yo. Si w pa pran yo, ou kapab kòmanse simaye jèm Tibèkiloz ankò.

Èske Depatman Lasante kapab ede m’ avèk Tibèkiloz?
Wi. Nou genyen 10 klinik ki ofri sèvis kont Tibèkiloz.

Nan klinik nou yo ou pa bezwen asirans sante. Tout sèvis yo gratis. Ou pa bezwen enkyete w pou kesyon imigrasyon. Pèsonn p’ap poze w kesyon sou estati w. Klinik nou yo bay bon jan kalite swen. Pèsonèl nou yo pale plizyè lang. Nou kapab reponn kesyon ou genyen sou Tibèkiloz. Nou kapab geri Tibèkiloz.

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