Tuberculosis Program

Tuberculosis Elimination Program:

The purpose of the program is to treat all cases reported and investigate their contacts. These services include screening, diagnosis, case management, preventive and therapeutic treatment. The TB Elimination Program averages about 900 patients per month.

TB Testing: Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Fees:

  • TB Skin Test:  $15/per TB skin test
  • IGRA test:  $28/test
  • Chest Xray:  $70

What to bring to your 1st visit?

  • Picture Identification
  • Utility bill
  • Immunization record, if school aged child
  • Paperwork given to you from the
  • referring agency, clinic, or physician
  • List of medications

This program includes other separaTB Testing: Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.te projects such as:

  • TB Jail Outreach Project: This project will administer directly observed therapy (DOT) for tuberculosis infection or disease to inmates in correctional facilities in the service area; and to inmates upon discharge into the community until therapy is completed. The TB Jail Outreach Project follows up on contacts and coordinates come with other components or services agencies as necessary (i.e. Border Patrol, Federal marshals, ICE, etc.)
  • TB Elimination Special Populations Project: This project will target high risk persons who are non-compliant with tuberculosis treatment; the outreach worker will locate and return delinquent clients to medical care. Target populations include migrants, HIV/AIDS Program clients, released inmates, colonia or outlying area residents.
  • Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program: The program coordinates all city and county residents afflicted with the disease for treatment and/or patient management.
  • "Los Dos Laredos" Binational Tuberculosis Elimination Project: Through a cooperative agreement with Mexico's Secretaria de Salud, this project is located at the Centro de Salud in Nuevo Laredo. This project works with all of Nuevo Laredo's health care providers to provide services to TB cases and their contacts who cross the border.
Frequently Asked Questions

For more information please call (956)795-4911 or e-mail: Veronica Y. Dominguez, MSN, RN (vdominguez@ci.laredo.tx.us) or Norma Ruiz (nruiz@ci.laredo.tx.us).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TB?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria 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 and TB disease.  If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal

How is TB spread?

TB bacteria are spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is NOT spread by

  • Shaking someone’s hand
  • Sharing food or drink
  • Touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • Sharing toothbrushes
  • Kissing

When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood to other parts of the body, such as the kidney, spine, and brain.

TB disease in the lungs or throat can be infectious. This means that the bacteria can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body, such as the kidney or spine, is usually not infectious.

People with TB disease are most likely to spread it to people they spend time with every day. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers or schoolmates.

What is Latent TB Infection and TB Disease?

Latent TB Infection

TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick.  This is called latent TB infection.  Most people who breath in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria and stop them from growing.  People with latent TB infection:

  • Have no symptoms
  • Don’t feel sick
  • Can’t spread TB to others
  • May have a positive TB skin test or positive TB blood test
  • May develop TB if they do not receive treatment for latent TB infection

Many people who have latent TB infection never develop TB disease.  On these people, TB bacteria remain inactive for a lifetime without causing disease.  But in other people, especially people with a weak immune system, the bacteria become active, and cause TB disease.

TB Disease

TB bacteria become active if the immune system can’t stop them from growing.  When TB bacteria are active (multiplying in your body), this is called TB disease.  People with TB disease are sick.  They are able to spread the bacteria to people they spend time with every day.

Many people who have latent TB infection never develop TB disease.  Some people develop TB disease soon after becoming infected (within weeks) before their immune system can fight the TB bacteria.  Other people may get sick years later when their immune system becomes weak for another reason. 

For those whose immune systems are weak, especially those with HIV infection, the risk of developing TB disease is much higher than for people with normal immune systems.

What is the difference between Latent TB Infection and TB Disease? 
Latent TB Infection TB Disease
Has no symptoms Has symptoms:
  • Bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating at night
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • No appetite
  • Weakens or fatigue
Does not feel sick Usually feels sick
Cannot spread TB bacteria to others May spread TB to others
Usually has a positive skin test or TB blood test Usually has a positive skin test or TB blood test
Has a normal chest x-ray Abnormal chest x-ray
Needs treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease Needs treatment to treat TB disease