Tuberculosis Elimination - Public Health Region 9/10

Texas Public Health Region 9/10 focuses on Tuberculosis Elimination (TB). As part of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the TB Program works to prevent widespread outbreaks of Tuberculosis throughout West Texas in what is known as Public Health Region 9/10. Other regions of Texas also have TB Programs that work to prevent TB outbreaks.

How We Help You

No matter where you live, the TB Program will help you if you become sick with tuberculosis. Preventing the spread of tuberculosis is the mission of the Tuberculosis Program. If you have tuberculosis disease (TB) then we will help you with treatment free of charge.  

Help is also available to people you’ve been in contact with as they may have contracted TB, and this is too free of charge.

Learning the Facts

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB bacteria usually attacks the lungs, but TB bacteria can also attack any part of the body such as the kidneys, spine, and brain.

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. When a person carries TB bacteria but does not get sick, they have “latent TB infection” (LTBI). When a person carries TB bacteria and does get sick from it, they have "TB disease." TB disease can be fatal if it is not treated properly.

Our Services

Treatment and Clinical Management of TB

So how does the TB Program help you if you have TB disease? We help you through every step of recovery, including coming to your home to guide you through treatment and medication. We call this Directly Observed Therapy (DOT). Our staff helps TB patients take their medications at the prescribed intervals.  

Medications for TB must be taken according to the directions, or the TB bacteria could become resistant to medication. If the TB bacteria becomes resistant, then it can be very difficult to treat. DOT helps patients finish the TB therapy as quickly as possible without unnecessary gaps, it decreases the chances of treatment failure and relapse. It is always free of charge, and we will continue to help you until you have fully completed your recovery.

Our goal is to ensure your successful completion of TB treatment and a swift return to good health. To minimize the impact on you and your family, we may offer the use of a secure app for Video Directly Observed therapy, enabling you to take your medication at a time that’s most comfortable and convenient for you.

Region 9/10 TB Program staff provide DOT to the following groups:

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

Treatment for Contacts of Persons with TB Disease

The TB Program team at DSHS 9/10 collaborates closely with patients receiving TB treatment, aiming to identify and assist individuals who might have been exposed to the TB infection through interactions with these patients. Our staff tests these contacts for TB infection and provides treatment when infection is present. The TB Program staff will also provide LTBI treatment for individuals identified through DSHS sponsored TB screening activities. Anyone else with LTBI is referred to their family doctor for treatment.

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 in jail or who have been in jail to be exposed to TB. The Region 9/10 TB Program collects information from our local, state, and federal correctional facilities to determine if there is any risk of a TB spread.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Tuberculosis diseases, prevention tips, and who can help.