Health Care Provider Information

This page is a resource for Whatcom County clinicians dealing with tuberculosis. Recognizing active disease and screening for and treating latent infection. The Whatcom County Health Department provides this as a tool / resource in our collaboration with community clinicians, and we welcome feedback and suggestions for additions and changes that improve its usefulness.

Provider information (PDF) can be found in one easily printable document here. 
 Letter to Providers Regarding LTBI Treatment - May 2014
  1. Distinguishing TB Disease From Latent Infection

    Learn about the difference between the two illnesses and the progression of them too.

  2. Testing for Immune Response to M. Tuberculosis

    Prior to the development of interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA), the tuberculin skin test (TST) was the only test available for identifying an immune response to infection with tuberculosis.

  3. Suspecting Active Disease

    Because the incidence of active disease is low in the United States, diagnosis may be delayed as it is not in the differential diagnosis.

  4. Risk Factors for TB

    Learn about the risk factors known for exposure and progression to TB active disease.

  5. Signs & Symptoms

    Review signs and symptoms from Latent Tuberculosis Infection: A Guide for Primary Health Care Providers (2013)-Table 1.

  6. Preventing Transmission

    Latent tuberculosis is not contagious, and extrapulmonary tuberculosis is not contagious, unless the infectious material is mechanically aerosolized (e.g., use of bone saws with tuberculous bone disease.)

  7. Treating Infection to Prevent Disease

    Treatment of latent TB infection reduces the risk of progression to active tuberculosis disease.

  8. Role of the Community

    Treatment of uncomplicated LTBI is often done by primary care and other clinicians. In our community, WWU Student Health Center has been screening and treating its students with LTBI for several years.

  9. Legal Issues: Isolation & Compliance

    Clinicians in Washington State are legally required to report suspected or confirmed cases of active tuberculosis to their local health department.

  10. Administrative Testing for TB Infection

    Some testing for tuberculosis infection is currently legally required even when not indicated according to the targeted testing and treatment guidelines.

  11. References

    Review various references for TB information for health care providers.

  12. Resources for Providers