Health Service Region 8 - Tuberculosis

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Elvia Ledezma, M.P.H.
Communicable Disease Program Manager
7430 Louis Pasteur
San Antonio, TX 78229
210-949-2177
Fax:  210-692-1457  

The mission of the Tuberculosis Program is to prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in Health Service Region 8 through clinical management of persons with suspected or confirmed TB, identification, screening and treatment of people who are contacts to cases of TB, and education about TB. 

TB Facts

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection (LTBI) and TB disease. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

Questions and Answers about TB

Services

Treatment and Clinical Management of TB

Directly observed therapy (DOT) is the direct observation of patients taking their medication by DSHS TB staff.  DOT helps the patient take their medications at the prescribed intervals, preventing resistance to medications. If the TB bacteria becomes resistant to medications it can become very difficult to treat.

DSHS HSR 8 staff provide DOT to the following groups:

  • All individuals confirmed with or suspected of having TB and
  • All children on preventive therapy for Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI).

Treatment for Contacts of Persons with TB Disease

DSHS HSR 8 staff work with patients being treated for TB disease to identify others may have contracted TB infection through contact with them.  Our staff test these people for TB infection and provide treatment when infection is present.  

HSR 8 staff will also provide LTBI treatment for individuals identified through DSHS sponsored TB screening activities.  Anyone else with LTBI are referred to their family doctor for treatment.

Counties Served

DSHS Region 8 provides the clinical services listed above to patients who live in the following counties, regardless of their ability to pay:

  • Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Jackson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Lavaca, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Wilson and Zavala
  • For San Antonio and Bexar County TB care is provided by San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (www.sanantonio.gov/health).
  • For Victoria, Calhoun and Dewitt Counties TB services are provided by Victoria City-County Public Health Department (www.victoriacountypublichealthdepartment.org)

TB in Correctional Facilities

TB is a disease that is spread from person-to-person through the air. Since many people share common air in correctional facilities, there is a greater risk for people who are currently in jail or who have been in jail to be exposed to TB.  Region 8 collects information from our local, state, and federal correctional facilities to determine if there is any risk of the spread of TB.  

TB Information for Medical Providers and Reporting Guidelines

Links  

TB – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/tb/
TB – Department of State Health Services (DSHS) https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/disease/tb/


 



Last updated January 23, 2017