Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) Control & Prevention Program

The goal of the Tuberculosis (TB) Program is to bring about awareness, prevention and treatment to stop the spread of TB by educating the public about TB, identifying TB cases, testing for TB, and treating for TB, which contribute to controlling TB and preventing the spread of TB.

Tuberculosis Clinic FAQ’s

What types of assistance or services are offered by the TB program?

The TB Program offers TB treatment, directly observed therapy (DOT), chest x-rays, Tuberculin skin testing and reading, HIV pre and post-test counseling, and lab work.

What are the hours of operation for the TB clinic?

Monday           8:00 am – 6:30 pm

Tuesday           8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wednesday     8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Thursday         8:00 am -5:00 pm

Friday              8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Registration stops at 5:00 pm on Mondays and 4:00 pm Tuesday through Friday.  NO TB tests will be done on Thursday.

X-Rays

Monday           9:00 am -12:00 pm

Wednesday     9:00 am-12:00 pm

Friday              9:00 am-12:00pm

What are the eligibility requirements for services provided?

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What are the costs for services?

All tuberculosis tests are $29.00.

Exceptions:

Persons with a current verification of residency letter from a pre-approved shelter/agency/program doing business with Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness

Letters must be given to Fulton County staff at time of service.

Letters will be accepted from the following Fulton County shelters:

Alliance Recovery

Atlanta City Baptist Rescue Mission

Atlanta Union Mission/Shepherd’s Inn

Center for Health, Rehab & Substance Abuse (CHRSA)

Central Outreach & Advocacy Center

Gateway Shelter

Jefferson Place

Making A Way Housing, Inc.

Metro Taskforce for the Homeless

Mercy Care

Salvation Army/Red Shield

Westcare Georgia

Another Chance of Atlanta

Atlanta Recovery Center

Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (ACSS)

Crossroads

HUGS Recovery Center

MARR—Rightside Up

Mary Hall Freedom House

Odyssey Family Counseling

St. Jude’s Recovery Center

Veterans Empowerment

Residency letters are not limited to the listed shelters.

What happens next if my skin test comes back positive?

When your skin test comes back positive you will need to get an x-ray of your chest or give a phlegm sample.  These extra tests will help show if you have TB disease or TB infection.

If I have additional questions, who do I contact?

If you have any additional questions please call us at 404-613-1450 or contact us here (standup2hivatl@gmail.com).

Tuberculosis FAQ’s

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

TB is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  The bacteria usually attack the lungs but it can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.  If not treated properly, TB disease can result in death.

What are the symptoms of TB?

  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

How is TB spread?

TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB coughs, shouts, sneezes, laughs, sings, or speaks, when tiny droplets of moisture leave the mouth.  People nearby may breathe in these droplets with TB germs in them and become infected.

How can I get tested for TB?

You can get tested for TB by visiting your local health department or seeing your health care provider.

If I have a positive reaction to the TB test, what does that mean?

A positive TB skin test or TB blood test only tells that a person has been infected with TB bacteria. It does not tell whether the person has latent TB infection or has progressed to TB disease. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB disease.  Since the TB bacteria may be found in other places than your lungs, your health care provider may check your urine, take tissue samples, or do other tests. If you have TB disease, you will need to take medicine to treat the disease.

What is the difference between latent infection and active TB disease?

A Person with Latent TB infection A Person with TB Disease
Does not feel sick Usually feels sick
Has no symptoms Has symptoms that may include:

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  •  No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  •  Sweating at night
Cannot spread TB bacteria to others May spread TB bacteria to others
Usually has a positive TB skin test or positive TB blood test May or may not have a positive TB skin test or positive TB blood test
Has a normal chest x-ray and a negative sputum smear May have an abnormal chest x-ray, or positive sputum smear or culture
Should consider treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease Needs treatment for TB disease

Goswami, N and Adewale, A.  (2014).  Guidelines for Preventing and Controlling Tuberculosis in Atlanta Homeless Housing Facilities, Retrieved from http://dph.georgia.gov/sites/dph.georgia.gov/files/Homeless%20Guidelines.pdf.

How are latent TB infection and TB disease treated?

If you have latent TB infection your health care provider may want you to take a drug to kill the TB germs and prevent you from developing TB disease, which will be based on your chances of developing TB disease. Some people are more likely than others to develop TB disease once they have TB infection, including people with HIV infection, people who were recently exposed to someone with TB disease, and people with certain medical conditions.

TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs for 6 to 12 months. It is very important that people who have TB disease finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as prescribed. If they stop taking the drugs too soon, they can become sick again; if they do not take the drugs correctly, the germs that are still alive may become resistant to those drugs. TB that is resistant to drugs is harder and more expensive to treat.

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