1. Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that can be spread through the air. TB affects over a billion people worldwide and causes an estimated 1.5 million deaths each year.
2. Compared to the rest of the United States, rates of TB are higher in California and in San Diego County.
3. Anyone can catch TB, but if you were born outside the United States or frequently travel outside of the United States, you are at greater risk. Some medical conditions (such as diabetes, HIV, and kidney disease) can also make you more likely to get TB and more likely to become sick if you are infected.
4. Most people with TB are unaware of their infection. This is called latent tuberculosis.
5. People with latent TB have no symptoms and can’t pass TB to other people. If the latent TB is left untreated, however, it can become active tuberculosis.
6. People with active TB often have a cough, experience weight loss, and are impacted by other symptoms. Once an infection becomes active, it can be serious and even fatal in up to 10% of cases. Active TB can also be spread to other people.
7. The good news is that latent TB can be diagnosed with a simple test and it can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
8. When we treat latent tuberculosis, we prevent active tuberculosis. This protects our loved ones, prevents others from being infected, and may even save the life of the patient.
9. Ask your doctor if you or your family members should be screened for TB.
10. Help spread the word that tuberculosis is preventable and treatable!
A San Ysidro Health provider can help talk to you about screening for tuberculosis, when appropriate.
By calling or texting (619)662-4100, you can schedule an appointment today.