Tuberculosis Control Program

Program Focus:

Prevent the transmission of tuberculosis (TB), a communicable disease, in Imperial County, through early detection of active disease and ensuring treatment of cases and evaluation of their contacts.

Program Activities:

For TB Patients: 

  1. Provide case management on active TB cases until completion of treatment 

  2. Monitor patients taking TB medications through Directly Observed Therapy (DOT)

For TB contacts

  1. Evaluate and test contacts to an active TB case by performing one of the following two tests:
    1. TB blood test, Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for contacts 2 years of age and older
    2. (PPD) TB skin test for contacts under 2 years of age
  2. If positive IGRA or PPD TB skin test, refer contact for chest x-ray
    1. If chest x-ray shows no signs of active TB, refer contact to their primary care provider for the treatment of latent tuberculosis
    2. If chest x-ray is suggestive of active TB, consultation with TB Controller is needed for further evaluation

Active TB disease:

Symptoms of Active Tuberculosis may include a constant cough that lasts two or more weeks (cough may produce phlegm or blood), chest pain, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. A person with active TB disease is contagious and can infect other people by droplets sprayed into the air especially when they cough, sneeze, sing or talk.

TB Infection:

When a person has been exposed to someone with active TB disease and breathes in the TB germ from droplets in the air, that person may become infected with the TB germ. In most cases, people can contain the infection and not become ill with active TB disease. A person with TB infection only (a positive IGRA or TB skin test and a normal chest x-ray) is not sick, and cannot pass the TB germ to others. Medication is available to prevent the infection from developing into active TB. Persons with a positive IGRA or TB skin test should check with their health care provider or medical staff at the Public Health Department to see whether or not they should take preventive medication.

Anyone can develop TB, but some people are at higher risk, those at higher risk include:

  1. People who share the same breathing space with an active TB disease case, such as family members, friends, and coworkers
  2. Homeless people, residents of correctional or long term care facility
  3. Foreign-born people from countries with an elevated TB rate (e.g. Africa, Asia, Central or South America)
  4. Alcoholics, intravenous drug users or tobacco smokers
  5. People with medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, end stage renal disease, silicosis, intestinal bypass/gastrectomy, chronic malabsorption and underweight
  6. Immunosuppressant conditions such as HIV infection, cancer and organ transplant. Patients on immunosuppressed drugs including steroids.

For additional information, please consult your health care provider, or please contact the Imperial County Public Health TB Control Program at (442) 265-1415.

Contact Information:

Jaspreet Sidhu, RN, BSN
Program Supervisor
Imperial County Public Health Department
935 Broadway, El Centro CA 92243
Phone: (442) 265-1423
Fax: (442) 265-1474