Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacteria that is spread through the air from one person to another. TB is spread through the air when someone who is sick with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. People that spend a significant amount of time near the sick person can breathe TB into their lungs.
Latent TB Infection- TB can live in your body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection (LTBI). Persons with LTBI cannot spread the bacteria to others and are not ill. LTBI is diagnosed with a positive TB skin test and a normal chest X-ray. Preventive medicine is recommended to kill the TB bacteria before it begins to multiply and make you ill with active TB disease.
Active TB Disease- TB can multiply in your body and make you ill. This is called active TB disease. TB usually attacks the lungs, but it can grow anywhere in your body. People with active TB disease may spread the bacteria to people they spend time with every day. Patients with active TB disease usually have a positive TB skin test, an abnormal chest X-ray, abnormal sputum (matter coughed up and usually ejected from the mouth, including saliva, foreign material, and substances such as mucus or phlegm, from the respiratory tract) tests, and other symptoms. Only a doctor can tell you if you have active TB disease.
If active TB disease is in your lungs, you may:
- cough a lot
- cough up mucus or phlegm ("flem")
- cough up blood, or
- have chest pain when you cough
Always cover your mouth when you cough!
If you have active TB disease, you may also:
- feel weak
- lose your appetite
- lose weight,
- have a fever, or
- sweat a lot at night
If you have active TB disease in another part of the body, the symptoms may be different. These symptoms may last for several weeks. Without treatment, they usually get worse.
Can active TB disease be treated?
Active TB disease can be treated by taking medicine. It is very important that people who have active TB disease finish their medicine, and take their drugs exactly as they are told. If they stop taking the drugs too soon, they can become sick again. If they do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become difficult to treat with those drugs. It takes at least six months to kill all the TB bacteria.
Texas TB Control Law
State law requires health care professionals to report confirmed or suspected cases at the time of diagnosis.
Report Confirmed or Suspected TB Cases
Call: 210.207.8823 · Fax: 210.228.0155
All patients referred to the TB Prevention & Control Program will be case managed in a professional and confidential manner. Selected tuberculosis drugs are available to patients without charge.
Protect your family and friends from TB — take all your TB drugs!
What services are provided?
The TB Prevention and Control Program provides examination, diagnosis and treatment with directly observed therapy (DOT) for people with suspected or confirmed active tuberculosis disease. The program also provides screening and preventive medicine for those with a known exposure to TB or those from high-risk populations.
Who is Eligible?
Residents of San Antonio and Bexar County who are suspected of having or known to have active TB disease, their contacts and specified high-risk populations will be seen by referral.
How much does it cost?
There is a $15 administrative fee for visits. TB charges follow the current Medicaid rate; however, special arrangements will be considered.
Physician Referral Service
- Suspected/confirmed active tuberculosis (TB) cases are seen by physician referral.
- Identified contacts and high-risk populations are screened upon referral. Preventive therapy is available to these individuals.
About your visit
- Patients should eat a good meal before arrival to the clinic.
- Please bring any proof of insurance and some form of identification.
- Please bring referral paperwork, X-ray films and documentation of TB skin test.
- Please sign in at front desk upon arrival.
- You may not be seen in the order you signed in, as patients' needs vary.
- You will be issued a fee sheet for services and a receipt will be provided.
- If you require a school/work excuse, please let the receptionist know.
- Free parking is available
- All medical records and conversations with TB clinic staff are confidential.
Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)
Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) and Directly Observed Preventive Therapy (DOPT) are recognized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the most effective means to control TB. Therapies consist of a healthcare worker observing patients taking their prescribed medications. During each treatment visit for DOT or DOPT, patients are assessed for adverse reactions.
DOT and DOPT may be administered at the City Chest Clinic, home, or job site. A nurse at the hospital or school may administer DOT and DOPT as arranged through the TB clinic.
Outreach & Surveillance
Outreach and surveillance activities include contact investigations and TB screening. Contact investigations include searching for those who may have been exposed to TB and conducting screening programs in population groups at increased risk of TB. Our program uses the Mantoux Skin Test, the recognized standard for TB screening.