With two cases of tuberculosis making headlines in the past month questions and concerns about the illnesses are arising.
There are two classifications of TB. There is latent and active. Latent typically shows no signs and it is not contagious while active can be deadly.
Someone can get latent TB from coming into contact with someone who has active TB. Latent eventually turns into active, but there is a chance that it may never fully develop. Someone with this form will still be treated with a variety of medications to prevent its development. Active on the other hand is contagious and can turn fatal.
Kristy Westerman, Mesa County Health Department says,"In the active cases we generally see weight loss, overall feeling of illness, night sweats. If it's in the lungs there will be coughing and chest pain. There is a possibility of coughing up blood. TB can affect other parts of the body but its typically in the lungs."
In order to contract active TB from someone you must be in close quarters and you'd need to breathe in their coughing or sneezing.
Here in Mesa County there hasn't been an active case in several years, but the health department does investigate about 20 to 30 cases of latent TB every year.