Basic TB Facts

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium 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.


How TB Spreads

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is NOT spread by

  • shaking someone’s hand

  • sharing food or drink

  • touching bed linens or toilet seats

  • sharing toothbrushes

  • kissing



TST (Mantoux) is an injection of a very small amount of fluid in the forearm. A client must return in 48-72 hours after the injection to have the skin test results read by the clinic nurse. At that time written results are given. If the test is positive, further tests need to be done to determine if you actually have Tuberculosis disease which may be communicable to others.Tests are given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays at the Health Department by appointment. The fee for this test is $15.



If the test is positive, the patient is refered for further testing.  Patient  will be educated on the medications needed to treat tuberculosis.  Medications are provided by KDHE and there is  no charge to treat their infection.


Signs and Symptoms of TB

Symptoms usually come on gradually over a period of several weeks. The most common symptoms are:


  • Cough, (usually for more than three weeks)

  • Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)

  • Pain in the chest

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss

  • Fever

  • Night sweats


Educational Resources