Volume VI, Issue IX - March 2013

From: Theodora Binion, Director
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse


World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is an annual event, which commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, encourages everyone to work together and leverage resources to eradicate TB in the United States.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. A person with TB can die if they do not receive treatment.

Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB bacteria usually grow in the lungs (pulmonary TB). TB disease in the lungs may cause symptoms such as a bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest or coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs). Other symptoms of TB disease are weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills, fever, or sweating at night. People who have latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Tuberculosis).

Now is the perfect time to review your agency's policies and procedures regarding Tuberculosis Control and Services.

  • Has your medical director or other designee annually reviewed and evaluated the effectiveness of your agency's TB control plan?
  • Are policies in place to ensure employee skin testing and management procedures are consistently followed and documented?
  • Are policies in place to ensure patient skin testing and management procedures are consistently followed and documented?

Please take the time to review Illinois' Administrative Code, Section 2060.415, Infectious Disease Control, to ensure your agency is in compliance with all regulations.

For more information on TB services in Illinois, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health's Tuberculosis Section at (217) 785-5371. For a listing of statewide local health departments, please use the following webpage: http://www.idph.state.il.us/local/alpha.htm.