The Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) investigates, treats, and manages Latent Tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and Active Tuberculosis (TB) disease in Vanderburgh County residents. Our services include administering and reading tuberculin skin tests (TST), TST classes for healthcare providers and educational programs for community partners.
*** Please call to schedule an appointment ***
- Call to schedule an appointment (812)435-5682
- Tuberculin Skin Tests (TST) cost: $20.00/test (we do not bill insurance for TB clinic services)
- Fees are payable at the time of service by cash, personal check or credit card (debit & credit card payments are assessed a convenience fee)
- TST Classes for Healthcare Providers: $30.00/particiapant
What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that generally affects the lungs, but can sometimes affect other parts of the body. TB of the lungs is transmitted person to person from the infected respiratory droplets of a person with active TB disease. When the infected individual coughs, laughs, sneezes or talks the germs are released into the air. If another person breathes in these germs, there is a chance they will become infected. TB is NOT spread by shaking hands, sharing utensils or touching bed linens or toilet seats.
Latent TB Infection & Active TB Disease
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes ill. For most people who become exposed to TB bacteria, their body is able to fight the disease and stop the bacteria from growing. This is called Latent TB Infection (LTBI). People diagnosed with LTBI do not feel sick and cannot spread the bacteria. However, if TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply, the person develops active (contagious) TB disease.
Signs and Symptoms of TB
General symptoms of TB disease are
- Feelings of weakness or sickness
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Cough (may contain blood)
- Chest pain
Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.
Diagnosis and Treatment
TB is a treatable and preventable disease. Most people won’t know they have TB unless they are tested. A skin test is one way to find out if a person has been exposed to TB. (It usually takes 2-10 weeks after exposure for a skin test to be positive.)
A Mantoux test is the preferred method. For this test, a small amount of testing material is placed just below the top layers of the skin, usually on the arm. The person returns 48 to 72 hours after the placement of the test and a certified staff member examines the area to check for a reaction bump or induration. The size of the bump/induration is measured and recorded. If the bump/induration is a certain size, the test is positive. Additional tests, such as a chest x-ray, blood test or a sputum sample may be needed to see if you have LTBI or TB disease. (A blood test is more specific, requires a physician’s order to be taken to the lab and the results usually take 3-5 days.)
If there is a need for treatment, the medication is supplied by the Indiana State Department of Health at no cost. We must have a doctor’s order for any medication to be ordered.
Any diagnosis of TB requires immediate reporting to VCHD. Our nurses and staff investigate each report/case of TB disease in the community, workplaces, schools, and other institutional settings and will take the necessary public health interventions to minimize the risk to others. We also work to stop the spread of the disease by monitoring individuals who have been exposed to the bacteria or especially those who have active cases of TB.