Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attacks the lungs and throat; however, tuberculosis bacteria may attack other parts of the body as well, such as the kidneys, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, Tuberculosis disease can be fatal. Transmission of bacteria occurs through airborne droplets spread from one person to another. The droplets become airborne when a person with tuberculosis disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. However, only 1 out of 10 individuals infected with tuberculosis become active, the remainder are classified as latent tuberculosis. Regardless of whether the tuberculosis is active or latent, treatment is necessary to ensure that the tuberculosis remains dormant in the body.
Clinical Services is responsible for tracking, investigating, testing, and treating Tuberculosis in Linn County. Local doctors and clinics refer clients to the Linn County Public Health clinic 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.