Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a common disease in many countries and anyone can get TB.

Tuberculosis is preventable, treatable and curable!

Tuberculosis is a curable infectious disease which usually affects the lungs (pulmonary TB). However, tuberculosis bacteria can travel through the blood to infect other parts of the body (non-pulmonary TB).

Typically, TB in the lung is infectious; TB in other parts of the body is not. In order to become infected with TB a person requires prolonged close contact with someone who has TB in their lungs and is coughing or sneezing the bacteria into the air.

Inactive or latent TB occurs when a person becomes infected but the body's immune system is able to prevent the bacteria from making you sick. Active TB disease occurs when the body's immune system is unable to stop the growth and spread of the bacteria resulting in illness.

Both inactive and active TB is treatable and curable.

TB treatment is free, and is accessible through Region of Waterloo Public Health.


Regional trends

Between 2006 and 2011, there were 85 reported cases of active TB disease in Waterloo Region (average rate of 2.8 cases per 100,000). The local rate of TB has fluctuated during those five years from a low of 1.5 cases per 100,000 in 2010 to a high of 3.6 cases per 100,000 in 2007. Local incidence rates of active TB disease have remained below provincial rates (4.5 cases per 100,000).

The elderly, young adults and individuals born in TB endemic areas are more at risk than the general population.


More information

Other TB Skin Test Providers

Fact sheets

Links

Government Organizations

Associations


Resources for Health Care Professionals


Resources for Long Term Care and Retirement Homes

TB Screening for Long Term Care/Retirement Homes


TB Screening Requirements for Child Care Providers/Employees

Update March 2017

All new employees/providers are required to complete a tuberculosis (TB) screening questionnaire included on the Pre-Employment Health Form for Employees, Providers, and Volunteers in Child Care Centres prior to starting employment.

If you answer "yes" to any of the questions in the TB screening questionnaire, you also need to complete a TB skin test.

It is required that the following groups of employees/providers of child care centres be screened for tuberculosis with a one-step tuberculin skin test in Waterloo Region:

  • Persons born in certain areas and who have arrived in Canada within the previous five years. These areas include:
    • Asia (including Middle Eastern countries)
    • Africa
    • Central and South America
    • Eastern Europe
  • Persons who have spent more than three months in the above listed areas within the past five years
  • Persons with high-risk medical conditions which include: kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, silicosis, or conditions which require drugs that suppress the immune system
  • Persons who know they have been exposed to someone with active tuberculosis disease in the past

For information on the TB skin test, go to our Tuberculosis Clinic page or call the clinic at 519-575-4400.

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