Public Health Region 8 - Tuberculosis Elimination
Texas Public Health Region 8 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 central Texas in what is known as Public Health Region 8. Other regions of Texas also have TB Programs that work to prevent TB outbreaks.
How We Help You
No matter where you live, we at 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.
We will also help anyone you’ve been in contact with as they may also have contracted TB, and this is also free of charge
Learning the Facts
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB bacteria usually attack 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.
Learn more by visiting our Tuberculosis FAQ sheet
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. Prevention of widespread outbreaks of TB is why we use DOT to help everyone who has TB disease. It is always free of charge and we will continue to help you until you have fully completed your recovery.
Region 8 TB Program staff provide DOT to the following groups:
- All individuals confirmed with or suspected of having TB and
- All children on preventive therapy for Latent LTB Infection (LTBI)
Treatment for Contacts of Persons with TB Disease
The TB Program staff of DSHS Region 8 works with patients being treated for TB disease to identify others who may have contracted TB infection through contact with them. 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. For more information on reporting and treatment of TB infection for providers, please see the link below.
Who We Serve & How We Serve
TB Information and Reporting Packet for Providers
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 https://www.vcphd.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. The Region 8 TB Program collects information from our local, state, and federal correctional facilities to determine if there is any risk of the spread of TB.