Elvia Ledezma, M.P.H.
Communicable Disease Program Manager
7430 Louis Pasteur
San Antonio, TX 78229
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
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.
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.
Region 8 provides the clinical services listed above to patients who live
in the following counties, regardless of their ability to pay:
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
San Antonio and Bexar County TB care is provided by San Antonio
Metropolitan Health District (www.sanantonio.gov/health).
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 – 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/