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What you need to know about Tuberculosis (TB)


What is TB and how do you get it?

Itís a disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs. The germs are put into the air when a person with TB coughs, sneezes, laughs, or talks. TB can also affect other parts of the body, such as kidneys, the brain, or the spine.


Common Symptoms: Cough for over 3 weeks, Fever, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, chest pain loss of appetite, fatigue (or feeling tired), and coughing up blood.


What is the difference between latent and active TB?

People that have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others.† Some people with latent TB infection go on to get active TB disease.† People with latent TB can take medicine so that they will not develop active TB.

TB bacteria become active if the immune system canít stop them from growing.† The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue.† If this occurs in the lungs, the bacteria can create a hole in the lung.† Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected; other people may get sick later.† People with active TB are most likely to spread it to others who they spend time with every day.† Active TB can be treated and cured if people seek medical help.†


How do I know if I have it?

Get a TB skin test, if it is positive you will have further testing done to see if you have latent TB or active TB.† Other test may include, chest x-rays, or a blood test.†


Tell me about the testing?

A small needle is used to put some testing material, called tuberculin, just under the skin, usually on the underside of the forearm. The person getting the test must return in 48 to 72 hours to see if there is a reaction to the test. If there is a reaction the size of the reaction is then measured.† See the Center for Disease Control and Preventions Fact Sheet on TB Testing.


Where do I get tested?

Testing is available at the Kennewick and Pasco offices of the Benton-Franklin Health District by appointment. Please call 509-460-4200.




Center for Disease Control and Prevention


Washington State Department of Health


**Interpreters may be available upon request**



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Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick WA
(509) 460 4200
412 W Clark
Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

Emergency Contact Information

Personal Emergency for Medical, Police, Fire, or Other: 911
Washington Poison Center: 1 (800) 222-1222 (www.wapc.org)
Washington Community Resource Information: 211 (www.win211.org)
BFHD Public Health Emergency/Imminent Health Hazard After-Hours Reporting: 509-543-3851
The public can reference BFHD policies available in Kennewick office.
BFHD Privacy Statement:English / Spanish
Copies of the annual report available at all BFHD offices.
State and County Resources
Rules and Regulations Administered by or Governing the Benton-Franklin Health District
WAC's - RCW's
Community Health Status Indicators
Reportable Conditions
Contact: info(at)bfhd.wa.gov                                                                                                                             Employees