The Department of Public Health works with health care providers, hospitals, and laboratories to identify people in Philadelphia with suspected or confirmed tuberculosis (TB). This includes people who may have been exposed to TB, as well as those who suffer from latent infections and are at high risk for developing the disease.
TB bacteria spread through the air from one person to another. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but can also affect the kidneys, spine, brain, or other parts of the body. If not treated properly, TB can be fatal.
Through the Tuberculosis Control Program, we help people with TB get treatment, such as directly observed therapy (DOT). Patients are also eligible for case management services. A case manager can:
- Help patients find and access available services.
- Pick up and deliver free medication to patients.
- Arrange testing and treatment for people who have come in contact with the patient.
Other services include medical evaluations, tuberculin testing, sputum induction, HIV screening, and screening for possible side effects from taking TB medications. All services and medications are free.
In all cases, the Tuberculosis Control Program maintains the patient's confidentiality.