The goal of the Snohomish County Health Department Tuberculosis 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 Program immediately.
- TB Program
- TB Skin Test Interpretation
- Positive TB Tests in Employees
- Who has TB in Snohomish County
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 County Health Department, 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 Program every other month.
Positive Skin Test Results
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.
The Snohomish County Health Department's Introduction to Placing and Interpreting TB Skin Tests (PDF) 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 (PDF). The class includes:
- PowerPoint presentation
- Reference materials
- Hands-on administration and reading of the TB skin test
TB Skin Test Class Schedule
We offer TB skin test (TST) workshops for Medical Assistants (MA) and Nurses. All classes will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 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 classes below will be held at Snohomish Health District. Everett location.
- March 28: Room 309A
- October 4: Room 309A
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.
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.