Tuberculosis remains a public health concern worldwide. Roughly one-third of the global population—or 2 billion people—are infected with TB. Approximately 9 million people became sick with TB each year and TB is responsible for an estimated 2 million deaths annually.
Tuberculosis is a disease that is caused by bacteria that usually attacks the lungs. It can be spread through the air if a person who is sick with TB coughs, sneezes, or talks— releasing the bacteria into the air. If another person nearby inhales these bacteria, they can become infected with TB. You cannot catch TB from actions like shaking hands, sharing drinks, or kissing.
People who are sick with TB are contagious – this is known as active TB. Active TB can be treated and usually cured with medicine. If left untreated, it can be deadly.
However, not everyone who is infected with the TB bacteria gets sick – this is known as latent TB. Most people who have latent TB do not feel sick and cannot spread TB to others. People who have latent TB can get treated for it so that the bacteria won’t become active and make them sick later in life.
If you think you have been exposed to someone sick with TB, you should contact your local health department or doctor to ask about getting a TB test.
Testing and Screening
Tuberculosis screening (PPD/TB skin test) is sometimes required for school or employment. TB skin tests require the client to return 48-72 hours after placement for the test to be read and interpreted. Because of this, and COVID-19 vaccination efforts and restrictions, we currently do not offer these tests at our clinics. We do not offer TB blood tests.
Call 303-451-0123 for more information.
Investigation and monitoring of tuberculosis in the Tri-County area is managed through the Denver Health Metro TB Clinic.
To refer patients with a positive TB test to the Denver Health TB clinic, please download the referral form and fax to the number listed. The Denver Metro TB clinic offers low-cost medical evaluation, including chest x-rays, as well as treatment for tuberculosis.