Tuberculosis & Refugee Health

TUBERCULOSIS & REFUGEE HEALTH

Tuberculosis
The Minnesota Department of Health has a Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention and Control Program, which collaborates with clinicians and local health departments throughout Minnesota to ensure that persons with TB receive effective and timely treatment, and that contact investigations are performed to minimize the spread of TB.

What is Tuberculosis?
TB is a serious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB can attack any part of the body, but most often affects the lungs. There are two phases of TB: latent TB infection and active TB disease. Both phases can be treated with medication. Only persons with active TB disease can spread TB germs to others. TB can spread when someone with active TB of the lungs or voice box coughs, yells, sneezes or talks and others breathe in the bacteria. People are most likely to become infected with TB if they spend many hours in close contact with someone who has active TB disease. NOTE: Brief contact usually does not lead to infection.

People with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) have dormant tuberculosis bacteria in their body. They usually do not feel sick and cannot spread the infection to others. However, people with LTBI need to receive treatment to prevent the disease from becoming active.

Symptoms of Active Tuberculosis
People with active TB disease usually feel sick and have weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. People with tuberculosis of the lungs usually also have a cough and chest pain and may cough up blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected.

Testing for Tuberculosis
Renville County Public Health does offer tuberculosis skin tests (Mantoux test) during office hours --it is however recommended that you obtain it at the clinic as a first option. The cost is $15.

Free Tuberculosis Medication Program
The Minnesota Department of Health provides free medications for people with active TB disease and LTBI. Ask your healthcare provider or call the Public Health Department at 320-523-2570 for more help.

For more information about tuberculosis, visit Minnesota Department of Health:

 


Refugee Health
Renville County Public Health partners with the Minnesota Department of Health, private health care providers, and community organizations to offer each new refugee arrival a comprehensive screening examination, appropriate follow-up or referral and community-based health education.

  • Facilitation of screening exam 
  • Tuberculosis screening 
  • Community-based health education 
  • Community resource connection

More information can be found from the Minnesota Department of Health: Refugee Health