Tuberculosis is caused by TB bacteria, which can reproduce and spread in your body, damaging tissue. The bacteria can attack any part of the body, but most often affect the lungs.
People with active tuberculosis disease usually feel sick and have weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. People with tuberculosis of the lungs usually also have a cough and chest pain and may cough up blood. Symptoms of tuberculosis disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.
People who have tuberculosis in their lungs can spread the bacteria to other people. It usually takes many hours in close contact with someone with tuberculosis disease to become infected.
People with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) have dormant tuberculosis bacteria in their body. They do not feel sick and cannot spread the infection to others. However, people with LTBI need to receive treatment to prevent the disease from becoming active.
More information about tuberculosis is available from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Testing available at the Western Service Center
Dakota County Public Health offers tuberculosis skin tests at the Western Service Center (14955 Galaxie Ave. in Apple Valley). The tests are by appointment only and are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-9:30 a.m. To schedule an appointment, call 952-891-7585.
Free tuberculosis medication program
The Minnesota Department of Health provides free medications for people with TB disease and LTBI. Ask your healthcare provider or call the Public Health Department at 952-891-7500.