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Tuberculosis

The Northwestern Health Unit offers a program to help control the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in our region, including TB testing and free treatment, case management, and information and resources.  

What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It most commonly attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. 

How is tuberculosis spread?
Tuberculosis germs are spread when a person with active (awake) tuberculosis coughs, spits, sneezes, or even talks. The germ is propelled into the air where other people can breathe it in and become infected. 
 
What is active tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis germs become active (or awake) if your immune system can’t stop them from multiplying in the body. The germs attack the body and destroy tissue.
 
What is latent tuberculosis?
People with latent (or sleeping) tuberculosis infection have no symptoms, do not feel sick, but do have a positive reaction to a tuberculosis skin test. They can’t spread tuberculosis to others, but may develop active tuberculosis if they do not receive treatment from their doctor.
 
  
Who is at a higher risk of being infected with tuberculosis?
You are at a higher risk of becoming infected with TB if you:
  • Were born in or travelling to countries where TB is widespread.
  • Are an Aboriginal person who has lived in a community with a high rate of TB disease.
  • Are homeless.
  • Have lived in a long-term care or correctional facility.
Public Health Question
  • Q:
    How often should I brush my teeth?
    A:
    You should brush your teeth twice daily, in the morning and before bed for two minutes​ each time.