Home » World TB Awareness Day – March 24, 2017

World TB Awareness Day – March 24, 2017

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Each year, we recognize World TB Day on March 24. This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

Although tuberculosis (TB) is preventable and curable, many people in the United States still suffer from this disease. Anyone can get TB, and our current efforts to find and treat latent TB infection and TB disease are not sufficient. Misdiagnosis of TB still exists and health care professionals often do not “think TB.”

How TB Spreads

TB bacteria are 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, 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

When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.

TB disease in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.

People with TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers or schoolmates.

Signs & Symptoms

The TB disease symptoms  depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). TB disease in the lungs may cause symptoms such as:

  • a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)

Other symptoms include

  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • no appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • sweating at night

Get Tested

Many schools now require TB testing for enrollment.  Getting a TB test is easy as it requires a simple skin prick which is checked in a follow up visit.

We do TB tests at West Valley Urgent Care.  You can walk-in or schedule an appointment in advance to get tested.

See which location is best for you. Get map & directions.

TB Infographic

tb infographic

Help stop the spread of TB.