TB Program

The mission of Wayne County Public Health Services Tuberculosis (TB) program is to provide surveillance, control and prevention of Tuberculosis in Wayne County. New York State Public Health Law and the State Sanitary Code require reporting of all suspected and confirmed TB cases to the local health department where a person resides.

  • TB is a communicable disease. It is an airborne bacterium meaning that it spreads through the air by coughing, sneezing and exhalations of someone who has active TB. Normally tuberculosis infects the lungs, but it can also infect other parts of the body.
  • People of all ages and from all walks of like can be infected with TB. Individuals with a weakened immune system or people living in crowed conditions are at higher risk for TB and its complications.
  • People become carriers of TB bacteria without actually developing symptoms from the disease. This is called latent TB. Nearly 90% of people who are infected with TB never get sick nor are they able to spread the infection while the bacteria remains inactive. The "TB" test or Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) is used to detect latent TB. Those who have a positive skin test, require further testing which may include a chest x-ray and sputum tests.
  • Everyone who is infected with TB, even those without symptoms must be treated. By treating individuals who have latent TB, the tuberculosis bacteria can be prevented from ever causing illness. The TST is also used when individuals have symptoms of TB such as coughing, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, or bloody sputum. A positive skin test in a person with symptoms may indicate active TB disease. Chest x-ray and sputum tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Individuals who have active TB must receive treatment and remain out of public places. This is usually for a week or two after starting antibiotics and only after the TB bacteria is no longer detected in their sputum. It is extremely important for people being treated for TB to continue to take their medications faithfully for as long as they are prescribed.
  • People with TB will be provided medication and will receive support from their local health department until the completion of treatment and they receive a clean bill of health.

Our program is staffed with a full-time nurse. Dr. Deidre Anne Colgan is our contract pulmonologist. TB clinics providing TB testing and lung clinics are held regularly at our Nye Road facility. Nursing visits when necessary can be made in the early morning, during daytime hours, or during the evening to accommodate our clients. Interpreters are available for individuals who need them to assist with interviews.

For more information please call us at 315-946-5749.