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Treating Tuberculosis

The goal of the Snohomish Health District Tuberculosis Control Program is to stop the spread of tuberculosis (TB). We help providers understand TB testing and treatment guidelines. To report a suspected case of tuberculosis, contact our TB Control Program immediately.

TB Control Program

We partner with other healthcare agencies and providers in Snohomish County to:
  • Investigate all reports of suspected TB
  • Make sure that patients with active TB are isolated, treated, and cured
  • Observe patients with active TB taking their daily medications (directly observed therapy or DOT)
  • Screen all new refugees for TB and provide treatment for those infected
  • Screen people who are exposed to patients with active TB, as well as make sure they get tested and treated as needed
  • Screen immigrants at risk for TB to make sure they don't have active TB and provide treatment as needed
  • Provide TB education to community members and healthcare workers
  • Provide medical consultations about TB to providers

TB reporting requirements

Physicians are required by Washington State law to report suspected cases of active TB to their county health department immediately. Do not wait for culture confirmation, as that may take up to 2 months. Delayed reporting may contribute to worsening disease and increased transmission of TB infection among those in close contact with the active patient.

When you refer a patient who is exhibiting symptoms of tuberculosis to the Snohomish Health District, please call to make an appointment.

You do not need to refer a case of extrapulmonary TB for treatment; you only need to report it. Status reports on each patient with extrapulmonary TB are requested to be furnished to the TB Control Program every other month.

Positive skin test results do not need to be reported, though they may be referred for further evaluation if the chest X-ray is abnormal.

TB skin test interpretation class

The Snohomish Health District’s Introduction to Placing and Interpreting TB Skin Tests is a free workshop for healthcare workers. It focuses on preventing the spread of TB in Snohomish County by teaching healthcare workers how to place and interpret a TB skin test. The class includes:

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Reference materials
  • Hands-on administration and reading of the TB skin test

TB skin test class schedule

We offer two types of TB classes: TB skin test (TST) workshop for Medical Assistants (MA) and Extended TST Workshop/TB 101 for Nurses.  All classes will take place from 9 a.m.–12 noon. To register for one of the workshops below, or to schedule an on-site training for groups of 10 or more; call 425.339.5225.

The one class below will be held at Swedish Medical Center-Edmonds. Use green entrance on 76th Ave W.  Go to 4th floor, Auditorium A.
  • September 23: Medical Assistants

The two classes below will be held at Snohomish Health District. Everett location.

  • June 2: Medical Assistants (Room 103)
  • November 10: Nurses (Room 209A)

Positive TB tests in employees

If an individual employer requires annual chest X-rays for employees who have a positive TB test, it is per the organization’s policy and not a public health requirement.

If an employee has a positive TB test and negative follow-up chest X-ray, they need an annual evaluation for active TB symptoms. A questionnaire filled out by the employee is the only requirement for this follow-up. If symptoms are not present, the employee is cleared for work until the next evaluation period. If symptoms are exhibited or reported, a repeat chest X-ray is required and further medical evaluation is needed.

Who has TB in Snohomish County?

The people most at risk for TB in Snohomish County are people who:

  • Were born in or travel to areas of the world where TB is common, including Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia (except Japan)
  • Live or work in crowded areas, such as homeless shelters, nursing homes, treatment centers, or jails
  • Work in health care
  • Live with someone with active TB

For more information on TB, visit our Tuberculosis page.

Contact us

Tuberculosis Control Program

3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 200
Everett, WA 98201
Directions

Phone
:
425.339.5225
Fax
:
425.339.5217

Did you know?

The Snohomish Health District sees 20 to 27 new active TB clients each year.