Tuberculosis is an airborne illness that is spread through the air from person to person when an individual with active TB (commonly referred to as tuberculosis disease or TBD) coughs, laughs, speaks, sings, or sneezes. The individual releases mycobacterium tuberculosis germs (the agent that causes tuberculosis) into the air where an uninfected individual inhales the germ(s). The germs then go anywhere in the body that blood flows, but most often times, they settle in the lungs of most adults and within the throats of small children leading to TBI (commonly referred to as tuberculosis infection) an inactive, non-contagious, form of tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis is completely treatable with antibiotics when patients take their medications as prescribed by their healthcare providers.
Shelby County averages about 50 cases of tuberculosis a year. Although in more recent years, Shelby County’s numbers have declined, we are still readily treating new tuberculosis disease cases and tuberculosis infections.
The Shelby County “Tuberculosis Control Elimination Program” was founded in Shelby County to prevent, treat, and eliminate tuberculosis throughout metropolitan Memphis.
What We Do
Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease making it a public health threat. It is the TB Control Program’s mission to prevent the spread of TB by locating tuberculosis suspects, finding new cases, pinpointing the contacts of those cases, diagnosing individuals infected with tuberculosis infection, and prescribing appropriate treatment through follow-up clinical services at no cost to those who need treatment regardless of income to effectively eliminate tuberculosis within Shelby County.
Who We Are
Our team consists of multiple individuals that come from a vast of array of career and educational backgrounds. There are physicians that specialize in infectious disease, family planning, pulmonology, and internal medicine that review radiography reports, charts, develop treatment plans and follow our patients until the completion of their therapies. This program also incorporates other public health personnel that helps it to function on a daily basis which are listed as follows: program manager, nurse practitioner, clinic nurse manger, charge nurse, clinic nurses, nurse case managers, social worker, X-ray technicians, medical assistants, health investigators, clerical staff, and a public health coordinator.