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    TB and Refugee Health Services Branch

    MC 1939
    P.O. Box 149347
    Austin, TX 78756-9347

    Phone: 512-533-3000
    Fax: 512-533-3167


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TB Statistics

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The Big Picture

In 2015, 1,334 cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported in Texas, a rate of 4.9 per 100,000 population. TB can affect anyone but is more likely to be diagnosed in persons born in a foreign country where TB is prevalent, persons living with diabetes or HIV/AIDS, persons who abuse alcohol and other drugs, persons who live in congregate settings (including prisons and other detention centers), the homeless, and health care workers.

    

Risk Factors Associated with TB Cases Reported in Texas in 2015

Percentage of TB Cases age 18 or older with Select Risk Factors in Texas, 2015. Foreign born 57.9%, Diabetes 18.1%, Alcohol abuse 16.6%, Prison/Jail 11.2%, Homeless 6.7%, HIV/AIDS 5.1%, Health Care Worker 2.7%.

TB is curable with proper treatment. However, some strains of TB are resistant to the drugs used for treatment. In 2015, nine people in Texas were diagnosed with multidrug resistant TB. Fortunately, there were no cases in Texas that were extensively drug resistant, the most difficult form to treat.

In Texas, 51 percent of reported TB cases in 2015 were among Hispanics, 19 percent were among African Americans, 10 percent were among Whites, and 20 percent were among Asians. TB rates are higher along the Texas-Mexico border. Co-infection with TB and diabetes is also more common along the border than in the rest of the state. TB/HIV co-infection is more commonly found in urban areas of Texas.

     

Map of Texas with 10 counties with highest number of TB infections in 2015 highlighted. Data in chart. 

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County

Cases

Harris

327

Dallas

180

Bexar

83

Cameron

73

Hidalgo

72

Tarrant

67

Travis

59

Webb

44

El Paso

38

Fort Bend

27

Tuberculosis Screening

In recent years, blood tests known as Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) have been developed to screen for tuberculosis (TB). White blood cells release interferon gamma (IFN-g) in response to contact with TB antigens. If the test result is positive, there is an immune response indicating the presence of TB bacteria.

There are currently two Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved blood tests on the market: the QuantiFERON®–TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) and the T-SPOT®.TB test (T-Spot). The Department of State Health Services Laboratory Services Section Molecular and Serological Analysis Group processes specimens for the QFT-GIT test. Although the tuberculin skin test has been the conventional screening method in Texas, regional and local tuberculosis programs are adopting the IGRA test as the standard tool to screen for TB.

 

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Differences between TST and IGRA tests for TB infection

 

TST

IGRA

Single patient visit

No

Yes

Test results

Subjective

Objective

Results affected by Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine


Yes


No

     

Tuberculosis Treatment

Not everyone infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis becomes sick. Those who do have symptoms – such as a cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss, chest pain, or fatigue – are most likely suffering from TB disease. Those with TB disease may be infectious.  Prompt treatment is essential to end symptoms and prevent disability or death. Those who are infected with TB bacteria but do not have any symptoms and have a normal chest x-ray have latent TB infection (LTBI). Those with LTBI still require treatment to decrease the risk of future TB disease.

DSHS provides TB treatment medications to public health clinics across Texas. These clinics treat patients with TB disease and LTBI. Also, people who are presumed to have TB (TB suspects) may be given treatment while their clinicians perform further testing to confirm or rule out TB disease.

Treating TB disease generally requires up to four medications given for six months. Treating individuals with drug-resistant TB requires costly medications that may be used for an extended period of time.  LTBI is generally treated with one medication for 9-12 months. Treatment of suspects varies according to the outcome of their diagnostic tests.

      

Texas Tuberculosis Data

TB Surveillance Report 2015 PDF Icon (677 KB)
TB Surveillance Report 2014 PDF Icon (730 KB)
TB in Texas Fact Sheet PDF Icon (139 KB)

Cases and rates by:

  • County
        2007-2011PDF Icon (260 KB)
                                         
  • Border County (32 Texas-Mexico Border Counties)
         2010-2014 PDF Icon (235 KB)
         2009-2013 PDF Icon (21 KB)    
                                       
  • Proportion of cases with Risk Factors in select counties:
        2009PDF Icon (16 KB)
                                            
  • Cases and percentages by Health Service Region and Race/Ethnicity
        2009PDF Icon (12 KB)
                                             
  • Counties with Higher than Average Incidence
        2011-2013External Link Icon

 

Last updated August 3, 2016