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Infectious Disease Services

Epidemiology and Disease Intervention ServicesSTD and Testing
Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious, infectious, respiratory illness caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. DOH-Sarasota is responsible for assuring tuberculosis control in our community.

Reporting and Controlling TB

Private physicians, hospitals, and laboratories are required to report all suspected or confirmed cases of TB to the DOH-Sarasota via telephone. After cases are confirmed, each is reported to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Staff members investigate and follow up on contacts to suspects and active TB cases. Follow-up includes TB skin testing, chest x-rays, laboratory tests, and treatment for Latent TB Infection (LTBI), usually over a period of nine months or as indicated. All suspects, active cases, and individuals with positive TB tests (who require LTBI therapy) are eligible to receive TB medications at the DOH-Sarasota at no cost if they do not have the ability to pay.

All individuals suspected or confirmed to have TB and certain patients receiving LTBI treatment are placed on Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) throughout the course of treatment. This means that a DOH-Sarasota employee observes the patient swallow his/her TB medication.