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Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease 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. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is NOT spread by:

  • shaking someone’s hand sharing food or drink
  • touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • sharing toothbrushes
  • kissing

Who should get tested?

Persons should get tested for TB by their doctor or local health department if they:

  • have spent time with a person known or suspected to have active TB disease; or
  • have HIV infection or another condition that weakens the immune system and puts them at high risk for active TB disease; or
  • have symptoms of active TB disease; or
  • are from a country where active TB disease is very common (most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia); or
  • live somewhere in the United States where active TB disease is more common such as a homeless shelter, migrant farm camp, prison or jail, or some nursing homes); or
  • inject illegal drugs.

TB tests are conducted at the Kane County Health Department by appointment only. Please call 630-264-7665 to schedule.

For Information & Reporting call 630-208-3801.


Tuberculosis Fact Sheet
Tuberculosis FAQs
Tuberculosis FAQs Spanish
Tuberculosis Information - CDC
Tuberculosis Info - Spanish - CDC
Tuberculosis Fact Sheets - CDC
Tuberculosis Information - IDPH