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. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. Learn more here. (Credit: CDC)
The Disease Surveillance and Investigation Program are responsible for tracking, investigating, testing, and treating Tuberculosis (TB) in Black Hawk County. Local doctors and clinics refer clients to the Health Department for testing and treatment of both suspected and active cases.
Medication is provided at no charge to the client through a program with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Active tuberculosis can be highly contagious if the bacteria that causes TB is actively growing in the lungs or throat of an infected person.
The program works with active cases to identify close contacts and to work with those contacts for testing and if needs be treatment. The Health Department follows up on active cases to observe treatment until the person has completed their medication regimen.