Yavapai County Community Health Services

 Click on a category to the left to filter the list of FAQs below.

What is TB?

Transmission and Pathogenesis of TBTB is usually an infection of the lungs.  It is spread by sharing air with someone who is suffering from TB disease.  If you are healthy, your body puts the TB germs to sleep.  The germs are kept asleep forever unless your body becomes weak with age, disease or medical treatments.  If the TB germs wake up, they can start to do damage to the body.  When the damage starts, then you may have symptoms and spread the germs to others.

What are the symptoms of TB?

  • A bad cough lasting more than 3 weeks
  • Pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or phlegm from deep inside the lungs
  • Weakness or feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Having no appetite
  • Chills and fever
  • Sweating at night or when you are sleeping
  • Excessive fatigue

People with TB usually have more than one of these symptoms and the symptoms continue if not treated.

What do I need to know about TB?

TB presents in two ways - TB infection and TB disease.

People with TB infection are healthy and able to keep the TB germs "asleep". These folks cannot spread the TB germs. They may never develop TB disease.

People with TB disease are suffering from TB disease. The TB germs are "awake" and doing damage to lungs or other organs of the body. They can spread TB germs when they cough, sing or sneeze.

We can lessen the spread of TB and other germs with good respiratory hygiene .

For more information, please visit the following website: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Tuberculosis .

Do I need to go through the Health Department to get TB clearance?

No, your private health care provider can also give you clearance.

Can I go to work with a positive skin test?

Yes, if your chest x-ray is normal and you do not have symptoms of TB.

Do I need to get yearly chest x-rays?

No, the CDC recommends chest x-rays when:

  • You have your first positive TB skin test
  • You have symptoms of TB disease

Why does it take almost a month to get the TB clearance?

Our county does not have very many cases of TB, so our clinics do not have doctors on staff to evaluate the TB histories and skin test results.  Our contracted physicians provide monthly review of the histories, x-rays and lab work done.  Following these reviews we follow up with patients as needed.

I am a contact of a TB patient. What do I need to do now?

  • Call the appointment line in Prescott or the Verde Valley
  • Bring the letter you received about being a contact with you to the appointment
  • We will figure out what testing you need and when.

I had the BCG TB vaccine. Won't my skin test be positive?

Not necessarily. The BCG vaccine (a TB vaccine given in many foreign countries) can produce a positive skin test result, but this fades after 5 years of receiving the vaccine. Many people with previous BCG vaccination will often have a negative TB result. People with a history of BCG are often from countries where TB is more common.  BCG reduces the rate of severe forms of TB disease in children and overall might reduce the risk for progression from infection to TB disease.  BCG is not thought to prevent TB infection.  Test results for TB infection for those with a history of BCG should be interpreted by using the same diagnostic points used for those without a history of BCG vaccination.

How do I get TB clearance for work?

  • Call the appointment line in Prescott or the Verde Valley.
  • Ask for an appointment for TB testing.
  • If you have proof of a previous positive TB skin test, bring it to the visit.
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